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1600 : 








W. GRIGGS, Hanover Street, Peckham, S.E. 




SIR NOEL PATON, R.S.A., etc., 




\Shakspere-Quarto Facsimiles, No. 4.] 




James Roberts's Quarto Edition, 1600: 

§ I. James Roberts's Quarto un- 

§ 2. The two Quartos not simul- 
taneous^ or both independent. 

§ 3. Four Statements ; to be sub- 

§ 4. The First Folio based on 
Roberts's Quarto. 

§ 5. Roberts's text borrowed from 
Fisher's Quarto. 

§ 6. Fisher's text mtist have had 
getiuine manuscript autho- 

§ 7. The formatio?i of the Folio 

§ 8. So7?ie peailiarities of the 

§ 9. Roberts's text not ^''corrected 

from Fisher's.'" 
§10. Conclusion: the value of the 

Quarto editions. 

§ I. James Roberts's Quarto Unregistered. 

HE three most important versions of the Midsummer Nighfs 
Dream text are now placed within reach of the student of 
literature, by means of photo-lithography ; which gives, with 
absolute exactitude, a reproduction of every peculiarity in the typo- 
graphy of the originals. It would not be too much to say that equal 
facilities for independent and combined examination of these mate- 
rials were never hitherto attainable, at moderate cost, since the early 
part of the seventeenth century. Even in 1623, when for twenty 
shillings a purchaser could claim the newly-issued First Folio of 
'■^ Mr. Williafft Shakespeare's Comedies ^ Histories, and Tragedies: 
Published according to the True Original Copies : London : Printed by 
Isaac laggard and Ed. Blount," the sixpenny editions, each in Quarto, 
that had been circulated for nearly a quarter of a century, must have 



become scarce, and therefore more costly. All these originals had 
in our day ceased to be accessible, except in some few national or 
ducal libraries, and could not be bought without a ruinous expen- 
diture of money, before Howard Staunton's excellent photo-lithograph 
appeared in 1866 : more trustworthy, being scientifically reproduced, 
than the careful typographical reprint of the same First Folio, issued 
two years earlier, but reduced into a quarto size of page, by Lionel 
Booth, of 307, Regent Street, 1864. This had been printed by L. 
Strangeways and H. E. Walden, 28, Castle Street, Leicester Square.^ 
The original First Folio, in perfect condition, occasionally sells at 
between seven hundred and eight hundred guineas (the Baroness 
Burdett-Coutts paid such a sum for hers) ; and the Quartos are so 
rare that they virtually never come into the market at all. 

By the help of this present series of exact reproductions, students of 
moderate means, on both sides of the Atlantic, are once more enabled 
to search for themselves the true text, and to collate the chief autho- 
rities, unmisled by the caprices of commentators, or by the deliberate 
falsifications introduced at various times. There are many persons 
now desirous of investigating the subject, and capable of valuing the 
uncorrupted language of the Poet. 

1^ As we have done with Fisher's Quarto, so here with that of 
Roberts : For purposes of reference, it is sufficient that we number 
the lines of the Quarto, in fours, on the inside margin ; and also mark 
the division of Acts, which is given in the Folio but not in either 
Quarto. We add a list of characters, on a separate page, facing the 
tide, for convenience and completeness ; but no list was given in any 
edition before Rowe's, in 1709.^ 

^ Still later appeared a marvellously cheap reproduction by photo-lithography, 
reducing each large folio page into an 8vo., necessarily minute in character. It 
was published in 1876, by Messrs. Chatto and Windus, with an Introduction written 
by J. O. Halliwell Phillipps. There had been a serviceable imitation of the First 
Folio, issued of full size (known as " Upcott's Reprint "), about 1807. We need 
only mention the costly and rare Ashbee Facsimiles, which were lithographed from 
elaborate tracings. They were attainable by few ; at five guineas each, and only 
thirty copies issued. George Stevens had, however, in 1766 issued, in four octavo 
volumes. Twenty of the Plays of Shakespeare in Quarto. 

' It shows the need of such a reproduction as our own, when we find a scholar 
(one so generally accurate as the learned Daniel Wilson, Professor of History and 
English Literature at Toronto) mistakenly declare : " It is, perhaps, due to the 



In his Introduction prefixed to the photo-lithograph of Fisher's 
Quarto, the present writer has attempted to show the probable date 
of A Midsiun7tier Nighfs Dream to have been not earlier than 1593, 
or later than 1596. It cannot possibly have been produced later 
than August, 1598 (judging from the mention of it by Meres); 
although the entry of Fisher's Quarto in the Registers is not until the 
8th of October, 1600. 

Of the Quarto now reproduced there is no entry whatever in the 
same Registers, to more precisely indicate the date than any mere 
statement of the year, 1600, on Roberts's title-page. We are left en- 
tirely to our own resources in the endeavour to ascertain which of 
the two Quartos was the earlier issued. After careful examination, 
and judging by internal evidence in the absence of external proof, we 
venture to affirm our belief that Thomas Fisher's was the earlier 

early place which * A Midsummer Nighfs Dream ' undoubtedly occupies among 
the dramatic works of Shakespeare, that in all the older texts it is divided into acts 
and not into scenes " — {Caliban : A Critique on Shakespeare^ s Tempest and A Mid- 
sum77ier Nighfs Dream. 1873. P. 240.). This he writes after giving a special 
description of the two Quartos ; but the simple fact is, that neither of them shows 
any division whatever into acts or scenes. The Folio of 1623 first introduced the 
distinction of the acts in this play, but made no further division into scenes. After 
all, when we remember how little was done on the early Stage to change the back- 
ground, except by affixing and removing an explanatory placard, we need not 
wonder at the deficiency of exact limits to scenes or acts. Like Robert Stephens's 
innovation of verse-division, in 1551, continued in our English Bibles, the system 
may be found convenient for easy reference ; but it is frequently destructive of some 
higher charm. It breaks the continuity of subject, and our attention is frittered 
away on fragmentary passages. A modem audience loses remembrance of the 
poetry and romance of the drama during each frivolous recurrence to gossip and 
flirtation, to fill the time between the acts. It would be well if the intervals 
were less obtrusively marked, both in acting and printing. Here, at least, in 
our Quartos, the divisions can be found when sought, but are not thrust forcibly on 

' In this we avowedly run counter to the opinion expressed by so honoured an 
authority as J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps, who writes as follows : " Perhaps Fisher's 
edition, which, on the whole, seems to be more correct than the other, was printed 
from a corrected copy of that published by Roberts. It has, indeed, been usually 
supposed that Fisher's edition was the earliest ; but no evidence has been adduced 
in support of this assertion, and the probabilities are against this view being the 
correct one. Fisher's edition could not have been published till nearly the end of 
the year, and, in the absence of direct information to the contrary, it may be sup- 
posed that the one printed by Roberts is really the first edition." {Memoranda 071 
The Midsu77i77ier Nighfs Drea77i, privately printed, 1 879, p. 34: written 1855.) 
One ought to feel quietly confident of the strength of argument, and evidence, who 
holds and tries to establish any opinion adverse to that proclaimed by so experienced 


§ 2. The Two Quartos not simultaneous, or both 

The two Quartos were certainly not issued simultaneously, although 
near to one another in date, both being of the same year, 1600. 
They were not both independent, in the sense of being wholly dis- 
connected with each other : the later one being a direct or modified 
copy of its predecessor. An impression of the earlier Quarto lay 
before the compositor who set-up the second. Shakespeare himself 
makes one of his characters, Dogberry, admit that " When two men 
ride upon a horse, one must needs ride behind." Now it was most 
unlikely, d priori, that the open and unrebuked publisher of the 
Registered Quarto, Thomas Fisher, should have ridden behind the 
unlicensed, and probably piratical James Roberts.^ Be it remem- 
bered that after the 8th of October there still remained, according to 
the " old style " of computation, more than five months for Roberts to 
publish his book, and yet be entitled to date it as of the year 1600. 
So any conjectures, based on Fisher's Quarto being unpublished " till 
nearly the end of the year" affect not the question whether the two 
Quartos were issued simultaneously. If any person believes that they 

a guide. But we have formed our estimate deliberately, and are prepared to abide 
by the conclusions thus gained. We try to show that "the probabilities" are 
not against the theory of Fisher holding priority ; and also bring forward the 
evidence attainable " in support of this assertion." As a mere supposition, one is 
as likely as the other. It really becomes a question of evidence, to be gathered 
and interpreted from a collation of the Quartos themselves, and in connection with 
the First Folio edition of 1623. 

^ The name of James Roberts, as the printer, is on the title-page of other un- 
registered Shakespeare-Quartos, viz., two editions of The Excellent History of 
the Merchant of Venice, with the extreme Cruelty of Shylocke the lew, etc., printed 
by J. Roberts, 1600 (L. Heyes, publisher) ; the earliest Quarto extant of Titus 
Andronicus (E. White, publisher), the same year, 1600 ; lastly, the second Quarto 
of Hamlet, 1604 (N. Ling, publisher), with another edition of the same in the fol- 
lowing year, 1605. 

We add these few particulars concerning the printers, gathered from the Regis- 
ters of the Company of Stationers : — 

T[homas] Fisher. Date of Freedom, 3 June, 1600 (vol. ii. 725). Date of 
First Registered publication (the Quarto of Midsummer 
Nighfs Dreaju), 8 Oct. 1600 (iii. 174). 
James Robertes {sic). Date of Freedom, 27 June, 1 564 (i. 240). Date 
of First Registered publication (Christopher Payne's 
Cristenmas Carolles, and The Country Clown Doth 
much Desyre a gent to be\ 15^^ (i. 402). 


were, he must remember that the burden of proof is left to him : for, to 
the best of our knowledge, there exists no evidence whatever in support 
of such a view. Still less (if less than none could be) is there any sup- 
port given to an idea that both of the two Quartos may have been framed 
from separate manuscript originals. While the innumerable differences 
between them show that one Quarto is not a servile reproduction of 
the other, it is likewise true that the characteristics of both, showing 
a general and frequently also a specific similarity in printing, must 
shut out any supposition of the later copy having been wholly unin- 
fluenced by its predecessor. Both Quartos are now before the reader 
for comparison. We need do little beyond indicate certain chains of 
evidence : to establish or refute certain theories in connection with 
the Folio text. 

§ 3. Four Statements; to be substantiated. 

We advance the following four statements, as representing indispu- 
table facts, after a study of the two Quartos, side by side, and in 
connection with the other chief textual authority, the first Folio 
of 1623. 

I St. That despite a general resemblance between Fisher's and 
Roberts's editions in Quarto, 1600, there are dissimilarities dividing 
them, which prove with absolute certainty that the second-printed 
Quarto (by whomsoever issued) must have been set-up afresh. A 
typographical reprint of both would have shown this contrast less 
clearly than does the photo-lithographic couple of Quartos now 
offered for collation. Out of a multitude of examples, the different 
arrangement of the Italicized Stage-directions offers itself to view. 
In Fisher's, the business is given (as usual) in Italic type, with excep- 
tion of the proper names of the characters; which are in Roman 
type. But in Roberts's, the whole line is in Italic type, names and 
all. The minute differences of spelling, some of them capricious and 
occasional, not constant, are innumerable and suggestive. 

2nd. That when "setting-up" the later Quarto, the printer has 
had the sheets of the earlier Quarto beside him : because the making- 
up of the two versions, page by page, is closer in resemblance than 



could have happened accidentally. In general, the pages of both 
editions begin with the same line. The exceptions are chiefly in the 
prose (or else in the pages following nearest to prose passages), and 
this difference was caused by Roberts's page being wider than Fisher's 
to the extent of about two letters' breadth. And it is remarkable 
that when this difference ensued, from the cause here shown, a 
recurrence has been speedily made to the former agreement ; by leav- 
ing a wider space at the earliest opportunity where stage-business was 
mentioned. Thus, after interruption, the restoration of similarity 
meets us, and the two versions begin their pages again with the same 
line. Evidently this was designedly, and not by chance. Let it not 
be thought that even in verse-printing identity of line-lengths was 
inevitable, for errors of arrangement in one Quarto are repeated in 
the other Quarto. For instance : observe the blunder of printing 
" Stand forth Demetrius^'' and " Stand forth Lysander,^^ as stage- 
directions (in p. 3), while the construction of the verse proves clearly 
that each broken line is a part of the speech spoken by Egeus, and 
addressed respectively to the rival lovers. Yet both Quartos give the 
erroneous indication, as though we were to read it as Business : 
here Demetrius is to stand forward," and the same of Lysander. 
The Folio copies the mistake without detection. Which brings us to 
3rd. That the First Folio edition, 1623, was demonstrably set- 
up from Roberts's Quarto ; although that Quarto was an unauthorized, 
and presumably a spurious or pirated edition : recourse not being had 
to Fisher's superior Quarto of the same year (registered and more 
carefully punctuated, although less modernly spelt, and with fewer 
prompter's stage-directions). In confirmation of which statement we 

4th. That where there are differences between these Quartos, 
the First Folio closely follows that of Roberts's, and not Fisher's : 
tt. In spelling, passim. 
/3. In punctuation, passim, 
y. In position, or in transposition, of words.^ 

' Exem. gratia (p, 48-176), " Now I doe wish it, "^of Fisher, reads: **Now do 
I wish it," in Roberts's ; and also in the First Folio. 



h. Italicized stage-directions (much more frequent in Roberts's than 
in Fisher's) are followed^ and enlarged, in the Folio.^ 
f. In plain and palpable emendations.^ 

§ 4. The First Folio text based on that of Roberts's 


Often, where the Folio corrects a phrase (that had been evidently 
wrongly given before, by Roberts), it had been wrongly given by 
Fisher also. Therefore, we see that the correction of Roberts's error 
was not borrowed from Fisher's copy. 

Examples: i. (P. 26.) Both Quartos blunder in giving the speech, 
on Bottom's exit, *'A stranger Pyramus than e'er play'd here" to 
Quince. The improbability of his making such a comment is obvious. 
It came appropriately from the mocking voice of Puck : and accord- 
ingly the First Folio prints it with " Puck " for the speaker. 

2. (P. 49.) Fisher and Roberts agree in misprinting, But man is 
but patcht a foole ; " which in the Folio is rightly given, " But man 
is but a patcht fool," etc. 

3. (P. 50.) A far stronger case, where both Quartos read, Enter 
Quince, Flute, T/iisby, and the rabble'^ This is altered in the Folio 
into Enter Quince, Flute, Thisbie, Snout, and Starueling with a 
substitution of ''^ Staru.^' for Flute" as speaking second. Now this 
has evidently been guess-work, without authority of the Poet's manu- 
script, and helps to perpetuate a " muddle." For the printers fail to 
remember that Flute is himself the representer of Thisbie. Perhaps 
the first error of the Quartos was the omission to mark (not " Thisbie,'' 
but) " Thisbie' s Mother" : — a character that had been allotted to the 
timid Robin StarveUng, although she does not speak when the inter- 
lude is afterwards acted. Her part is dumb-show, and therefore 

* Ex. grat. (p. 49, line 187). Where Fisher has a long single line, Roberts 
divides it properly, and reads, as a new line, " Come Hippolita,,^^ with Exit^^ in- 
serted in continuation of this fresh line : this being supplemented in the First 
Folio, which reads : " Exit Duke and Lords,'''' not ^''Exeunt Duke, Hipfolita, and 
Lords,^' as it ought to be. Again, the important " Exit " of Bottom (on p. 50, to 
end the modern Scene i of Act iv.) is not in Fisher's. 

^ Ex. grat. (p. 49.) Fisher's has " if he goe about expound this dream." Roberts 
and First Folio have " if he go about to expound this dream." 


especially suited to the nervous tailor, who fears his own voice and 
shadow. It is Flute who habitually mistakes his words (witness his 
repetition of " Ninnfs tomb," despite the correction earlier adminis- 
tered to him by Quince). Therefore, we may be sure that the 
awkward misreading of " Paramour " for Paragon," comes from 
Flute ; and not from the sensible manager, Peter Quince, to whom it 
is wrongly assigned. Can we restore the right name ? It may have 
been either Quince or Snout ; or even " Thisbie's Mother," otherwise 
Starveling. Certainly not " Thisby"= Flute. Yet the Folio accepts 
this false reading unhesitatingly, while making some other changes, one 
of which is merely a specification of business detail. In fine, the 
characters are so clearly marked elsewhere that the true reading 
must be something like this : — 

Quince. — Have you sent to Bottom^ s house ? Is he come home yet ? 

Flute [as in Quartos]. — He cannot be heard of. Out of doubt he is transported. 

Thisbie ['j mother=zStarveling\. — If he come not, then the play is marr'd. It goes 
not forward, does it ? 

Quince. — It is not possible : you have not a man in all Athens able to discharge 
Pyramics but he. 

Thisbie ['^ j?tother=Starveling\. — No, he hath simply the best wit of any handy- 
craft man in Athens. 

Flute [not Quince, as wrongly marked in Quartos and Folio]. — Yes, and the best 
person too, and he is a very Paramour, for a sweet voice. 

Quince [or else Thisbie's mother=Starveling, but certainly not Thisbie, as 
marked by all]. — You must say. Paragon. A Paramour is (God bless us !) a thing 
of naught. 

§ 5. Roberts's text borrowed from Fisher's Quarto. 

Now as to the sequence of publication, we hold it to be in this 
chronological order: — 

Earliest. — Fisher's Quarto; 8th October, 1600. 

Next. — Roberts's Quarto; after 8th October, 1600, and before 

IVEarch 25 th, 1601. 
Last. — The First Folio, 1623; copying Roberts's text, with con- 
jectural alterations in the few places v/here differences occur. 
We hold it to be almost impossible — certainly to us it appears in- 
credible — that any printer like Thomas Fisher (with Roberts's printed 
text before his eyes) could have deliberately changed the spelling, in 
multitudinous instances, back into a more cramped and lumbering 


archaic fashion. We give a brief sample of these differences in 
corresponding places ; but they are innumerable throughout : — 

Roberts's Quarto. 

tell — Snug — else — home-Spuns — per- 
haps — hue — eke — lew — Snowt — do 
— hog — Finch — Sparrow — answer — 
lye — he, etc. (all within pages 25 — 
28 : and in the prose). 

Fisher's Quarto. 

tel — Snugge — els — homeSpunnes — per- 
happes — hewe — eeke — lewe — Snowte 
doe — hogge — Fynch — Sparrowe — 
answere — ly — hee, etc. (all taken 
within the compass of a few pages : 
and in the prose). 

Also many contractions — such as treble, for tremble; latern, for 
lantern ; chabre, for chamber ; vnderstad, for vnderstand ; traslated, 
for translated — all made unnecessarily, because they are in the same 
prose portion of Fisher's Folio. 

On the other hand, it is by no means difficult to understand the 
improved clearness in typography of Roberts over that of Fisher (sup- 
posing, as we do, that Roberts had Fisher's printed book before his 
eyes). For there was the additional space gained — 

1. By the excision of redundant letters ; 

2. By having a wider platform of type in his page ; 

3. By his gaining an occasional line in prose passages, and thus 
being able to afford extra leads at entrance of characters. 

Despite this improvement in typographical clearness, there is a 
marked deterioration in the minute divisions of the verse by punctua- 
tion. Commas are less frequent, either from negligence or from 
systematic repugnance to the scholarly and grammatical breaking-up 
of sentences. Either supposition would account for the change. It 
cannot be that Fisher had intentionally improved upon Roberts in 
these minute subdivisions ; for, if so, he would never have blundered 
in more important details of punctuation, such as we see differently 
given in the two Quartos. Everything indicates the priority of 

The difference of date being at most only a few months, the 
frequent change of spelling made by Roberts from that employed by 
Fisher must have been attributable to personal taste — a modernizing 
tendency of fashion, that inclined Roberts to simplify his spelling, 
and dispense with so many useless letters. He thus economizes his 
" lower case." 


Another indication of the order of succession, now formulated. Let 
us take the noble passage, wherein Theseus discourses of Imagination 
(Quartos, p. 51). It is surely difficult, if not impossible, to believe 
that any printer or tolerably instructed " reader of the press " could 
have had Roberts's text lying before him, and yet made such hurtful 
misarrangement of the verse as we now find in line 6 of Fisher's text, 
bringing injuriously into the same Hne ''The Lunatick." Both 
editions, here as elsewhere, spoil the rhythm of the poetry by wrong 
division of lines. But, in almost every case, the differences between 
the Quartos mark an alteration having been made from Fishet^s into 
Roberts's^ never from Roberts's into Fisher^ s, 

(P. 25.) Fisher has : " We ought to looke toote." Roberts gives 
this clearly : " We ought to looke to it." If Roberts had come first, 
and been copied by Fisher, such a change as toote "would not have 
been seen. 

What is shown above, by the injury to rhythm, is elsewhere shown 
by the redundancy of capitals (as in line 88 of p. 27, Fisher's Quarto, 
which could not have been set wrongly from the correct arrangement 
in Roberts's). We fear these examples may appear to be tediously 
insisted on; but if they prove our statement — that Fisher preceded 
Roberts — an important step is gained in understanding the formation 
of the Folio's text, which assuredly was built on that of Roberts's. 

§ 6. Fisher's text must have had genuine Manuscript 

The only text of the three that can be shown to have been formed 
on genuine manuscript authority is that which we possess in the fac- 
simile of Fisher's Quarto. There is absolutely no proof whatever in 
favour of an independent origin for the Folio text, Heminge and 
Condell having availed themselves of the printed sheets issued by 
Roberts ; and these sheets were taken almost without further cor- 
rection when re-set, "at the charges of W. Jaggard, Ed. Blount, 
I. Smithweeke, and W. Aspley, 1623." There is, moreover, no proof 
whatever (but presumptive evidence to the contrary) that any inde- 


pendent manuscript authority had been previously employed by James 

Those persons who have carefully studied the pirated and corrupt 
versions of some other Shakespearian plays can scarcely fail to notice 
the difference when they come to examine Fisher's Quarto. It is, 
comparatively speaking, correctly printed. Whether the " copy " or 
the compositor were answerable for the spelling, we know not ; but 
as printers have always been strictly conservative in such debatable 
matters (resisting changes advocated by individuals or inconstant 
fashion),^ we are inclined to lay the blame chiefly on Fisher. Cer- 
tainly, he was less skilled and less given to innovation than Roberts, 
who used his earlier sheets. Fisher is somewhat heedless in regard 
to exits and entrances (Roberts adding several such announcements, 
where they were self-evidently necessary). But, on the whole, the 
text is given with so close an approximation to correctness, that the 
reader awakens to a regretful remembrance of the vast inferiority in 
the earliest printed texts of other Shakespearian dramas. 

In short, there is a reasonable ground for supposing that Fisher's 
Quarto may have been an accredited publication, favoured by Shake- 
speare, although not corrected for the press by himself. 

§ 7. The Formation of the Folio Text. 

We know not what reason guided Heminge and Condell to employ 
Roberts's text for the First Folio, instead of Fisher's. But we are not 
likely to err in supposing the choice to have been dictated by two out 
of three circumstances. 

I St. They did not possess an independent holograph manuscript from 
Shakespeare's hand of A Midsiimjjier Nighfs Dream. Therefore they 
availed themselves of a printed version (either marked as " prompt- 

^ We are all of us under obligation to intelligent compositors and press-readers, 
for their steady conservatism and shrewd sense, as well as for other bounties. 
Long may they continue to preserve their neighbours' land-marks ! They are 
needed now, more than ever, to guard our English literature from being desecrated 
by the vagaries of self-styled philologists ; who would speedily bring us to a chaotic 
wilderness of barbarism, through some '* spelling- reform. " We must resist these 
revolutionists, who threaten us that lists are to be published of proscribed forms of 
spelling, like the Hue-and-Cry photographic records of escaped criminals. 


book," for representation, or, more probably, an ordinary purchased 

2nd. They preferred Roberts's Quarto, because it was the better 
printed of the two Quartos, and more suited for their reproduction. Or 

3rd. Because Fisher's Quarto (although registered) was by this time 
out of their reach, and, perhaps, virtually forgotten. But Roberts's, 
we know, was at their hand, and was found serviceable. 

All of us owe so large a debt of gratitude to these two actors, 
John Hemmings and Henry Condell " (as their names are given in 
the list of "The Principall Actors in all these playes " of Shakespeare, 
at beginning of the First Folio), that we will not be ungracious 
enough to swell the chorus of abuse raised by ignorance and ingrati- 
tude, because they did not take additional pains to secure us an 
accurate impression of the ipsissima verba of that greatest poet, whom 
they loved and honoured. In their dedication of the plays to the 
Earl of Pembroke, they claim only to have "collected them." To the 
public, " the great variety of readers," they judiciously offer their 
advice, " to buy it first," and then " to read, and censure," if men 
will, according to privilege of purchasers. They express regret that 
the author himself had not " liu'd to haue set forth and ouerseen his 
owne writings." They glance at the " diuerse stolne, and surreptitious 
copies, maim'd and deform'd by the frauds and steal thes of injurious 
impostors, that expos'd them;" and they claim, somewhat beyond the 
actual warrant of truth, to now offer them to view " cur'd and perfect 
of their limbes : and all these rest " \id est, these never hitherto printed 
in any edition], "absolute in their numbers, as he conceiu'd the." 
We must not press too hardly against these worthy actors, who thus 
assumed the editorial cares of authorship, for which they had not 
been trained by previous practice. What they urged may have been in 
great part true, although not true of all, or nearly all, the plays. 
Probably of " The Tempest," with which delightedly they open their 
treasure-trove, the statement is substantially correct j and they tried 
to give the never-printed masterpiece as " we haue scarse receiued 
from him a blot in his papers." 


Of sixteen plays we see the earliest known transcript in the Folio 
of 1623. Where it is faulty, therefore, we are often left helplessly 
perplexed. But, in many other cases, we find valuable help afforded 
by the earlier-printed Quartos ; to some of which the Folio was in- 
debted for its text, and notably so in the case of that loveliest work 
of youthful fancy, A Midsumtiier Nighfs Dream. 

§ 8. Some Peculiarities of the Folios. 

Having already given (in the Introduction to Fisher's Quarto, 
p. iii.) the entry belonging to it from the Registers of the Stationers' 
Company, C. fol. 65 verso ^ we now add the important entry concern- 
ing the First FoUo. It is of date, possibly, before the volume was 
fully completed (the book requires, from its bulk, to be a long time in 
progress), and although the list appears to have been carefully tran- 
scribed, and in correct order, only those plays are mentioned of which 
no Quarto editions are extant : " soe many of the said Copies as are 
not formerly entred to other men." It thus becomes a valuable 
record of the admission made at the time, that there were sundry 
other plays floating about — more or less authorized, and as legalized 
property — among which would be reckoned A Midsummer Nighfs 

8° Nouembris 1623. 

Master Blounte Entred for their Copies vnder the hands of Master 
Isaak Jaggard. Doctor WoRRALL and Master Cole Warden Master 
William Shakspeers Comedyes, Histories, and Tra- 
gedyes, soe manie of the said Copies as are not for- 
merly entred to other men. . . . viz* vijs 

Comedyes. The Tempest 

The two gentlemen of Verona 

Measure for Measure 

The Comedy of Errors 

As you like it 

AlPs well that ends well 

Twelfe night 

The winters tale 



Histories. The ihirde parte of HENR Y ye SIXT 

Tragedies. CORIOLANUS 
TIMON of Athens 


It will be found useful to have this list here for future reference, as 
well as for present service. We have some important deductions to 
draw from it hereafter, and on a future occasion, when we have free 
scope, we may bring fresh evidence to establish our conclusions, 
regarding the materials employed in the First Folio. It is unneces- 
sary to detail the few changes successively made in the Second, 
Third, and Fourth Folios, of 1632, 1664 (valuable only for its rarity, 
most copies of this edition having perished in the Great Fire of 
1666), and 1684. Corruptions of the text continually increased, 
there being no resumed attention paid to early Quartos. 

It has been weakly taken for granted that the Folio rectifies the 
errors of the Quartos. Examination proves the falsity of this sup- 
position. It will be convenient to give our proofs in a foot-note.^ 

^ The Folio spoils Lysander's speech (p. 6, line 133), mutilating the verse by 
omitting " Eigh me !" — the full line being, *' Eigh me ! for aught that I could ever 
read," &c. 

Both Quartos had rightly printed an old-fashioned word (in p. 6, line 144), in 
"Making it Momentany as a sound." The Folio, showing ignorance of the 
phraseology, has conjecturally changed this into Momentarie" 

Almost the only innovation of the Folio possessing any value is in Act iii. sc. 2, 
where the metre is restored by making Hermia say, " I am amazed at your pas- 
sionate words." But even here, where this probable conjecture is employed, we 
might rest content with the Quarto's *' I am amazed at your words " (unless we 
accept "passionate" as ■= pash'nate, dissyllabic), in a choice of imperfections. 
Shakespeare often left an incomplete verse. 

One might hail as an approach towards correction the Folio's reading, " Now is 
the morall downe betweene the two Neighbors " (which is itself a mistake for 
mural: if we are to accept the adjective, instead of the substantive, to make 
sense); instead of the puzzling, *'Now is the Moon Vsed betweene the two 
neighbors" (p. 57, line 204). 

But the Folio leaves uncorrected the palpable blunder, "wondrous strange 
snow" (p. 53, line 57), which probably ought to be "wondrous seething,^^ or 
" scaldinge snow," or some other contrasting word, as in the case of "hot ice." 

Let a fresh plea be here advanced for the admission of this conjectural ^'seeth- 



After such a list as we have given, which might have been swelled 
if necessary, it is idle to talk of the FoHo editors having access to any 
manuscript authority for A Midsummer Nighfs Dream. We hold it 
indisputable that they used Roberts's printed Quarto^ sometimes in- 
creasing the defects, sometimes guessing commonplace variations; 
but they give absolutely nothing of such improvements as would have 
been gained from a genuine manuscript, or even from a certified 
" revised and corrected " prompt-book. 

zw^" in place of the absurd misprint "strange," or the advocated "swarthy," which 
is inadmissible. "Seething" is in the doubtful Perkins' Folio of 1632; but 
as a guess it is not disqualified. We note that in Thomas Bastard's Chrestoleros : 
Seuen bookes of Epigrames written by T. B.^ 1 598 (the very year of the latest pos- 
sible date of A Midsunwier Nighf s Dream), on p. 139, we meet a confirmation 
oi seething being used as synonymous with baking: — 

Book VI. Epigram 13. 

"There is no fish in brookes little or great, 

And why ? for all is fish that comes to nett. 

The small eate sweete, the great more daintely. 

The great will seeth or bake, the small will frye." etc. 

(British Museum, Case 39, a. 3, second art.) 

Also, the Folio continues the erroneous "she wmw^-j," which is a misprint for 
"she moans," in mockery of Thisbie (p. 60, line 300). Also, the Folio accepts 
and retains the misprint (p. 61, line 338) of "And the Wolfe beholds the Moone ;" 
instead of the indisputable behowls the Moone." 

Again, in Oberon's disenchantment spell (p. 45, line 70), the metre is spoilt by 
the Folio interpolating a word, "Be thou as thou art wont to be." And, in 
Oberon's last speech, or song (p. 62, lines 384, 385), both Quartos having made the 
blunder of a misplaced line, the Folio blindly follows the example, perplexing later 
commentators, and tempting them to conjectural emendation. But the error was 
simply one that Roberts had already fallen into (on p. 28, with lines 125 and 127), 
viz., the transposition of two lines. We must read : 

"And the owner of it blest 
Ever shall in safety rest." 

Not, as the Quartos and Folio wrongly give it : 

" Ever shall in safety rest, 
And the owner of it blest. " 

The Folio errs in omitting Oberon's name, attached to this song in the Quartos. It 
gives the song in Italics, not recognizing Oberon as leading the fairies, which he 
expressly declares : 

"And this Ditty after me, Sing and dance it trippingly." 

We have no call to believe, with Dr. Samuel Johnson (who, at the time, knew 
nothing of Fisher's Quarto), that the song mentioned by Titania is lost. 

As to the transposed line in Titania's address to Bottom, we shall see (on next 
page) that the Folio endorses Roberts's corruption of the Fisher text. 

xx introduction. 

§ 9. Roberts's Text not Corrected from Fisher's." 

No one hereafter need feel any timidity in speaking of the Fisher 
Quarto as "the First Quarto," and of Roberts's Quarto as "the 
Second Quarto," if our demonstration be held complete. 

In Titania's first address to Bottom a palpable error occurs in 
Roberts's Quarto ; the final line having, wrongly, become the second 
by a printer's error : that is, the line had been dropt while the type 
was being set : it was noticed, and then inserted, but at a wrong 
place, the blunder remaining undetected, although the comma re- 
maining at the end of the line " doth moue me," shows plainly the 
nature of the accident.' Now this glaring typographical error is 
positively copied into the Folio, although it spoils the verses ! The 
compositor had sufficient wit, and no more, to alter the final comma 
of Roberts's into a full stop. Surely nothing could better prove (ist) 
the absence of authoritative correction in the Folio, and (2nd) the 
priority of Fisher's to Roberts's corrupted text. 

Far from Roberts's being, as it is loosely declared, " corrected from 
Fisher's," the verse is often marred by Roberts departing from Fisher's 
reading. Here are instances of such damage, and all of them are en- 
dorsed by the Folio in repetition : — 

Fisher's Text. Roberts's, and Folio. 

P. 7, line 174. prospers [Rhyming with "doues"] 

changed into ..... loue. 
,,15 102. And thorough this distemperature, 

changed into ..... through this 

— 103. Amrj/ headed frosts, changed into . . hoared Y^^zA^A ixo%\.% 
,,17 173. roiind about the Q.2S\h^(:ih2.xvgQA'\Xi\o . rotmd the ea.rth. 
>f 35 j> 173- Helen, it is not so, changed into . . It is not so. 

^ This piece of evidence is so important, and has been hitherto so overlooked, 
that it will be better to give the passage in full : — 

Fisher's Quarto. 

Titania. — I pray thee, gentle mortall, 

sing againe — 
Myne eare is much enamoured of thy 

note : 

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, 
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) 

doth mooue mee, 
On the first viewe to say, to sweare, I 

loue thee. 

Roberts's Quarto, and Folio. 

Tytania. — I pray thee gentle mortall, 

sing againe, 
Mine eare is much enamored of thy 

note ; 

On the first view to say, to sweare I 
love thee. 

So is mine eye enthralled to thy shape, 
And thy faire vertues force (perforce) 
doth moue me, 

The Folio repeats Roberts's text, verbatim, et literatim, et punctuatim, except at 
the end, which has a period, doth nioue me^ 



Or weakening the sense, even when not marring the verse, as in — 

P. 8, line 202. His folly, Helena, is no fault of mine, 

chcinged into ..... none of mine. 
,, 16 ,, 153. That very time I saw [evidently correct] 

changed into I say [Quite wrong]. 

>> 17 >> 177- The next thing //^m she waking, changed 

into when she waking 

— „ 190. And wodde [i. e. mad], within this wood, 

changed into ..... wood within this wood 
,,19 255. Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in, 

changed into rap a fairy in [! !] 

,,47 131. their being here together, changed into . ihis being 
,,48 ,, 164. in fancy yo//(?Z(yz«^ me, changed into . followed mQ. 
»» 63 ,, 390. these visions, changed into . . . this visions. 

Sometimes the change is unimportant, either reading suiting well 
enough, as in (p. 37, line 268) Fisher's Quarto : " O hated potion" 
altered into, " O hated poison ". 

One more specimen of the mere guess-work of both Roberts's changes and the 
revisers of text in the Folio. In Act iii. sc. i (D 4 = p. 30, line 19 of both Quartos), 
where Puck is delightedly recounting the discomfiture of the Clowns, on the 
appearance of Bottom wearing the Ass's head. Puck uses this expression, in 
Fisher's Quarto : ' ' And forth my Minnick comes. " This is altered in Roberts's 
Quarto, into " And forth my Minnock comes." The change is only a blunder, or 
from some fancy of rectifying the spelling : a frequent occasion of error with 
Roberts. But when the Folio text is being formed from Roberts's, twenty-three 
years later, there is a total ignorance in the printing-office as to the meaning of the 
word, and it is therefore transformed, plausibly, into Mimic — "And forth my 
Miminick comes," as though it were spoken in reference to Bottom being one of the 
actors. But this is absolutely a blunder. Puck never ceases to heap ridicule on 
Bottom, as "the shallowest thickskin of that barren sort;" ironically mocking 
him as "sweet Pyramus" "a stranger Pyramtis than e'er play'd here," and, 
*' When thou wak'st with thine owne foole's eyes peepe." Puck is far too choice 
and culled of phrase to lavish so dainty an epithet on the weaver Bottom as 
"Mimic." The word he uses, we may be sure, is a word of insult. Later Folios 
further corrupt it into Mammock.^'' But Fisher gave us the true Shakespearian 
word, which was correctly ''Minnick.^' (We have a similar one in "Mannikin," 
but Minicken, or sometimes Minikin = small, neat, finical ; or, in an opprobrious 
sense, paltry and effeminately unmanly.) We have the same word elsewhere in 
Shakespeare : it is in Edgar's scrap of song, as Mad Tom {King Lear, Act iii.), in 
the Folio :— 

" Sleep'st or wakest thou, jolly Shepheard, 

Thy sheepe bee in the corne ; 
And for one blast of thy mi^iikin mouth, 

Thy sheepe shall take no harme." 

§ 10. Conclusion : The Value of the Quartos. 

We have necessarily left important matters untouched, that may be 
hereafter discussed in our forthcoming edition, long promised to the 
New Shakspere Society, under the presidentship of Robert Browning. 


Pressure of other promised work caused delay. Our special business 
in this Quarto has been to indicate, to the best of our ability, its true 
place and value in relation to Fisher's Quarto of the same year, 1600, 
and to the earliest Folio, 1623. So, in our Introduction to Fisher's 
Quarto, we limited ourselves to considering the evidence in adjust- 
ment of the date as a composition, and only briefly touched on what 
may well be called the higher criticism.^ 

To another opportunity, perhaps to a more skilful hand, is left the 
unwinding of many a clue. The intricacies of the fairy mythology 
might well demand attention and most profound scholarship. Hitherto 
little has been done, beyond the gathering of materials, to form a 
judgment. Painters, like our early teacher, David Scott, and our still 
living friend, revered and loved. Sir Noel Paton, have delighted to 
embody on their canvas the airy gambols of " the Puck," the graceful 
dignity of Oberon, the loveliness of Titania, the quaint variety of 
blended whimsicality and bewitching beauty among the elves and 
sylphs that held their revels in the haunted woodland. Poets and 
musicians have not lingered far behind : they strove, like Mendelssohn, 
to make melody reveal the mysteries that underlie the tmlight 
gloaming — the messages that are heard or seen by those alone whose 
faculties are spiritualized and quickened, after having breathed 
diviner air. From sculpture and from architecture have been bor- 

* After all, it is not the individual opinion of any Editor, but the exact reproduc- 
tion of the text itself, in photo-lithographic facsimile, that must indisputably form 
the chief value of this projected series of Quartos. If their text be presented trust- 
worthily, they will be prized and circulated. (For any delay of issue, hitherto, 
neither the publisher nor the present writer is in any degree responsible. Both 
are blameless. Our two Quartos of A Midsummer Nighfs Dream — a labour of 
love, not a hireling task — are advanced before their announced position, owing to 
the three other plays which should have preceded them being still behind time. 
They were from different hands.) We have not deemed it necessary to give a 
longer or more exhaustive Introduction to each of our own two Quartos. Together 
they form a total of only thirty-seven pages. 

Moreover, circumstances have shown to us the expediency of retaining, for the 
present, within our own possession, certain valuable materials, literary and pictorial, 
gathered for the illustration of the Fairy Mythology of Shakespeare and his Con- 
temporaries. They are kept back until such time as they can be published free from 
any injurious control. We write for those who possess sympathy with something 
beyond the dry bones of etymological and linguistic study of him who was "the 
world's Shakespeare." Readers will meet us again in this haunted wood of Oberon 
and Titania. Let us hope that it may not be without mutual pleasure or mutual 
profit. Vale. 



rowed the severe and stately calm that meets us in such noble figures 
as Duke Theseus with his Amazonian bride ; the slumbering lovers, 
couched apart, half-hid in shadow, half-glorified by the moon's 
beams ; and even the procession of the wedding-guests, coming at 
the close like a happy inspiration — a dreamland fancy, caught up in 
memory from some description of the Panathenaic frieze, as told by 
travellers who had roved through Greece, and found true pleasure in 
conversing with our Stratford Poet, whose listening ear was ready to 
accept the tale. Elsewhere we see him in his superhuman wisdom, 
his wide-embracing knowledge of all varieties of men, his warmth of 
heart, his scorn of cunning, cruelty, and selfishness ; his mastery over 
every passion, his insight into every hope or fear. But here we find 
him keeping an open court ; not too lofty for our homage, but, like his 
own Theseus, cheerfully accepting our poor attempts to do him 
service, and warm ourselves at life's true Midsummer in his smile. 

We hold within our grasp the very pages, printed without much 
typographical skill, that in those early days gave to so many a heart 
the first rapturous enjoyment of fairyland. It is our own fault if to us 
they bring less of pleasure. Well said the earliest editors of Shake- 
speare : — 

** Reade him, therefore, and againe, and againe : And if then you doe not like 
him, surely you are in some manifest danger, not to understand him." 


MoLASH Vicarage, Kent, 

Midsummer-Day, 1880. 



[The two Quarto editions and the four FoHo editions have no list of characters. 
Rowe first added one, in 1709.] 

Theseus, Duke of Athens. 
Egeus, an Athenian Lord^ Father of Hermia. 
Lysander, ) ^ ^.^j^ Hermia. 
Demetrius, j 

Philostrate, Master of the Revels to Theseus. 
Quince, a Carpenter ; 
Snug, a Joiner; 
Bottom, a Weaver; 
Flute, a Bellows-mender ; 
Snout, a Tinker ; 
Starveling, a Tailor ; 

HipPOLYTA, Queen of the Amazons, betrothed to Theseus. 
Hermia, daughter of Egeus, in love with Lysander. 
Helena, in love with Demetrius. 

Artizans of Athens. 

Oberon, King of the Fairies. 
Titania, Queeji of the Fairies. 
Puck, or Robin-Goodfellow, a Fairy. 




- Characters in the Interlude, performed by the Clowns. 

Pyramus, > 
Lion, > 

Other Fairies attendant on Oberon and Titania. 
Attendants on Theseus and Hippolyta. 

Scene varies, from the Palace of Theseus at Athens^ and Quince's 
house, to a Wood in the neighbourhood. 


ommer nignts 

As it bath beene fundry times pub* 
lil^ly aBedy by the %ight Honour 
ble, the Lord Chamberlaine his 


Trinted by lames *]^berts, 1600. 



Enter Thefew^Hiffolita^ with others*. 

^^^^ Thefeus. 
iW^^^Ow fairc Hippolita^our nuptiall boui-e 
g^^^P Drawes on apace : foure happy daics bring in 
H^^Sft Another Moone : buc oh^me-thinks, how flow 
yS^wis This old Moonc wanes: She lingers my dc/irc5 
Like to a Stcp-dam,or a Dowager, 
Long withering out a young mans reucnew* 
Hip.?outc daies will quickly ftecpe thcmfclucs in nights 
Foure daies will quickly dreame away the time : 
And then the Moone^like to a (iluer bow^ 
Now bent in heaucn,fhall behold the night 

Thc^ Goe PhUo/h-ate, 
Scirrevp the jithenian youthto merriments^ 
Awake the peart and nimble fpirit of mirth, 
Turne melancholy foorth to Funerals : 
The pale companion is not for our pompe. 
HfppoUta^l woo*d thee with my fword. 
And wonne thy loue^doingthec iniuries : 
But I will wed thee in another key. 
With pompe,withtriumph,and withrcuclling, 

€mer Sgefteandhis daughter Hermia/mdLyfander^ 
Helena i^and Demetrius^ 

^^.Happy be The/euf,out renowned Duke. 

^^.Tbanks good ^^w.What s thenewcs with thee? 

£^^.FulI ofvexation^come l^with complaint 

A a A- 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Agamftmy childe,my daughter Rermia, 

Stand foorth Demetriw, 

My noble Lord, 

This man haih my confent to marry her 

Stand foorth LjfoftdeT. 
And my gracious Duke, 

This man hath bewitcht the bofome of my childc ; 
Thou»thou Ljfaftder,iho\i ha(^ giuen her rimes. 
And interchange loue tokens with my childe : 
Thou haft by moonc-Iight at her window fung, 
"With fain'mg voice,verfes of faining loue, 
And (lohie the impreflion of her fantafie. 
With bracelets of thy haire,rings,gawdes, conceits^ 
KnackSttrifles.nofegaies, fweet meates (meifengers 
Of ftrong preuailement in vnhardened youth) 
With cunning haft thou fUchc my daughters hearty 
Turnd her obedience (which is due to me) 
To ftubborne harftinefle. And my gracious Duke^ 
Be it fo Hie will not here before your Grace, 
Confcnt to marry with Demetrius^ 
Ibeg the ancient priuiledge of Athens ; 
As flie is mine J may difpofe of her ; 

Which (ball be either to this gentleman. 

Or to her death, according to our law« 

Inunediatly prouided in that cafe» 

Tl^ff.What fay you Hirmia ? be aduis'd,faire maid. 

To you your father fhoud be as a God : 

One that composed your beauties \ yea and cnej 

To v;hom you are but as a forme in wax 

By him imprinted,and within his power* 

To leaue the figure,or disfigure it : 

Demetriw is a worthy gentleman. 

HerJSo \%LyfanJkr0 7l&^ Jn himfelfc he is. 

But in this kinde,wantingyour fathers voycc. 

The other muft be held the worthier. 

A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

Her. I would my father lookt but with ray eyes. 

TCv.Rather your eyes muft with his iudgement looke. 

Her, I do intreate your Grace to pardon me* 
I know not by what power I am made bold» 
Nor how it may concerne my modefty. 
In fuch a prefence,here to plead my thoughts ; 
But I befeech yourCrace.that I may know 
The word that may befall me in this cafe, 
If I refufe to wed 7)emetrm* 

71&r.Either to die the death^or to abiure 
For euer the fociety of men* 
Therefore faire Hermia^c^t^ion your defires. 
Know of your youth.cxamine well your blood. 
Whether (if you yeeld not to your fathers choycc) 
You can endure the liuery of a Nunne, 
For aye to be in Hiady Cloifter mew*d 
To liue a barren (ifter all your life. 
Chanting faint hymnes to the colde fruitleCTe Moone* 
Thrice blefled they that mailer fo their blood. 
To vndergo fuch maiden pilgrimage. 
But earthher happy is the Rofe diftild. 
Then that whicH withering on the virgin thorne^ 
Growes,Uues,and dies^fingle blefTednefie. 

Her, So will Igrow/o liue,fo dye my Lord» 
Ere I will yeeld my virgin Patent vp 
Vntohis Lordfliip^whofe vnwL(hed yoake 
My foule confents not to giue fouerainty. 

TZ^e.Take time to paule^and by the next new Moone, 
The fealing day betwixt my loue and me^ 
For euerlafting bond of fellow(hip : 
Vpon that day either prepare to dye. 
For difobediencc to your Others will, 
Or elfe to wed Demetriw^^s be wold. 
Or on Dioftaes Altar to protefl. 
For aycaufterity^and (ingle life* 

A 3 Dm* 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

25f w.Relcnt fweetc ffermiafZnd LyfancCtr^ yccld 
Thy crazed title to my certaine right. 

Lyf.Yow hauc her Fathers loudDemetriw : 
Let me haue Hermias : do you marry him. 

Ege/fiScomf[i\\ LjiJknJer^tv\ic,ht hath my Louc ; 
And what is miae,my loue fliali render him. 
And (he is mine.and all my right of her 
I do cftate vnto Demetrius, 

Lyfan,\ am my Lord^as well deriu*d as hcc. 
As well poflcft : my loue is more then his j 
My fortunes eucry way as fairely ranckt 
(If not with vantage) as DemetriHs : 
And (which is more then all thcfe boa(ls can be ) 
I am belou'd of beautious Hermta, 
Why (hould not I then profecute my right ? 
Demetriusylle auouch it to his head. 
Made louc to Nedars diUghutyHelena^ 
And won her foule : and (he ( fweetc Lady) dotes, 
Deuoutly dotes, dotes in Idolatry, 
Vpon this fpotted and inconftant man. 

The,l muft confe(re,that I haue heard fo much» 
And with Demetrm, thought to haue fpoke thereof j 
But being ouer full of felfe-affaires^ 
My minde did lofe it.But Demetrius comt. 
And come ^^^j^you fhall go with me, 
I hauc fome priuatc fchooling for you both. 
For you fairc Hermia,\o6kc you arme your felfe. 
To fit your fancies to your fathers will ; 
Or clfc the Law of uithens yeelds you vp 
(Which by no meanes we may cxtenuatje) 
To death iOr to a vow of (ingle life. 
Come my Hippolita ; what chearc my louc? 
Demetrius and Egew got along : 
I muft imploy you in lomc bulitiefrc 
Againft our nupciall,and conferre with you 

A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

Of fomcthingjticcrely that conccrncs your felucs. 
^tf.With duty and dcfirc,wc follow you. ExeunU 
LjfMow now my louc ? Why is your chcckc fo pale ? 
How chance the roles there do fade fo faft ^ 

H«*.Belike for want of raine ; which I could well 
Bcteeme them,from the tempeft of my eyes. 

^j/'^'g*^ 5 for ought that 1 could cuer readc. 
Could euer hcare by tale or hiftory» 
The courfe of true louc neuer did runne fmoothc. 
But either it was different in bloud ; 

Hpt.O croflc ! too high to be inihrald to louc. 
Ljff Or elfemifgraffedjin refpc(5l of yeares ; 
Her,0 fpight ! too oldc to be ingag*d to yong. 
Lyf.Or elfe it ftood vpon the choilc of friends; 
Her.O helljto choofe loue by anothers eyes. 
L;f.Oty\£ there were a fimpathy in choife, 
Warre,dcath,or fickncffe.did lay fiedgc to it ; 
Making it momentany,a$ a found ; 
Swift as a Hiadow ; {hort as any dreame ; 
Briefe as the lightening in the collied nighc, 
That (in a fpleene) vnfolds both heauen and earth ; 
And ere a man hath power to fay,behold, 
The iawes of darknelTe do deuourc it vp : 
So qutcke bright things come to confuHon* 

JJerJf then true Louers hauc bin euer croft^ 
It ftands as an edidt in deftiny : 
T hen let vs teach our trial! patience, 
Becaufe it is a cuftomary crofic. 
As due to louc,as thoughts,and drcamcs,and fighes, 
Wifties and teares jpoore Fancies followers, 

Lyfh good perfwafion therefore hcare va^^Bermiai 
1 haue a widow Ant,a dowager. 
Of great reuenew,and fhe hath no chUde, 
From Athens is her houfc remote feuen leagues. 
And fhe refpects mcjashcr oncly fonnc : 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

There gentle Hermia^mzy I marry thee. 
And to that place,the ftiarpe /Athenian law 
Cannot purfuc vs.If thou loucft me,then 
Steale forth thy fathers houfe»to morrow night : 
And in the wood,a league without the townc 
(Where I did meetc thee once with Helena^ 
To do obferuance to a morne of May ) 
There will I ftay for thee. 

Her JMy good Ljfawier^ 
1 fwcare to thee,by Cupids ftrongeft bow. 
By his beft arrow, with the golden head. 
By the firaplicity of PenusDouts. 
By that which knitteih foules, and profpers louc. 
And by that fire which burnd the Carthage Qjjccnc, 
When the falfe Troyan vudcr fayle was feene^ ' 
By all the vowes that euer men haue broke, 
(In number more then euer women ipoke) 
In that fame place thou haf^ appointed me. 
To morrow truely will I meete with thee. 

jLxAKeepepromife loue,Iooke here comes Hele»it. 
Sftter Helena. 

HerXjod fpeedcfaire ff<p/fi;^,whither away ? 

Hip/.Call you me faire ? that faire againe vnfay, 
Demetrms loues your faire : O happy faire ! ' 
Your eyes areload(lars,and your tongues fweet ayre 
More tuneable then Larketo Shepheards care. 
When wheaie is grecne,when hauihomc buds appeare, 
Sickncife is catching : O were fauour fo. 
Your words 1 catch,faire Hermiactt I goe, 
My eare (hould catch your voice,ray cye,your eye, 
My tongue (hould catch your tongues fweet melody, 
Were the world min^.Demefriut being bated. 
The reft lie giue to be to you tr^ndated. 
O teach me how you looke,and with what art. 
You fvvay the motion of Demnius heart. 

A Midfommer nights Drcame. 

Utr. Ifrownc vponhim,yct he loues mc ftill. 

Hel.O that your frowns wold teach my fmiles fuch skil 

Htr\ giue him curfcs,yet he giues me louc. 

HeLO that my prayers could luch afFc6lion mooue. 

jHfer.The more I hatc,thc more he followes mc, 

/Te/.Thc more I louc, the more he hatcth me. 

//(pr.His folly, f/ip/f»<f is none of mine, 

fl^?/.None but your beauty, wold that fault were mine. 

f/ipr.Takc comfort : he no more (hall fee my face, 
hyfander and my felfe will fly this place. 
Before the time I did Lypinder fee, 
Seem'd Athens like aParadice to mc. 
O then,what graces in my Louc do dwell, 
That he hath turn d a hcauen into hell. 

Ljf,Helea,to you our mindcs we will vnfold^ 
To morrow night, when Pha^e doth behold 
Her filucr vif3ge,in the watry glaflc. 
Decking with liquid pcarlc,the bladcd gralTc 
(A timcjthatlouers flights doth ftill conceale) 
Through eyfthefjs gatcs,hauc we deuifed to fleale. 

f/ffr. And in the wood,where often you and I, 
Vpon faint Pimrofc bcds,were wont to lye^ 
Emptying our bofomes,of their counfcll fweld. 
There my Lffof/deryznd my fclfc fhall meetc. 
And thence rcom Athens tunic away our eyes 
To fecke new friends and ftrange companions. 
Far well fwcetc play-fellow, pray thou for vs. 
And good lucke grant thee thy Demetrius, 
Keepe word Ly fonder we muft ftarue our fight. 
From louers foode,till morrow deepe midnight. 

Exit Hermia, 

Iwill my HermtaJIeUna adieu. 
As you on him, Demetritis dote on you. Exit Lyf, 

ffelMovi happy fomc,or€ othcrfomc can be ? 
Through Athens I am thought as fairc as (he. 

B Bue 

A Midfommernightesdrcamc, 

But what of that?2>m^»/nV/ifChinkcs notlb; 

He will not knowcjwhat alljbut hec doe know, 

And as hec crres^ doting on Hernias eyes; 

Soljadmiring ofhis qualities. 

Things bafc and vile, holding no cjuantitiej 

Loue can tranfpofe to forme and dignicie. 

Louc lookes not with the eyes,buc with the mindc* 

And therefore iswingd Ctspid painted blinde. 

Nor hath louesminde of any iudgcmcnctaftc: 

Wings^and noeyes^figure^ynhcedybaflc. 

And therefore is loue faid to bee a childe.* 

Becaufcjin choyce, he is fo oft beguil'd. 

As waggifli boycs^in game, thcrafeluesforfwcare: 

Soothe boy,Loue ,is pcriur'd cuery where. 

For, ere Dememus\oo\x on Hermias cyen, 

Hee hayld downc otbes,thac he was onely minc^ 

And when this haile fomc heate/rom Hfrm'ta^itlt^ 

So he diifoluedjandfliowrsof caches didmeic» 

I will goe tell him of faire Hermim flight: 

Thcn,tothc wodde,will he, to morrow night, 

Purfuchcr; and for thisintelligcnce^ 

If I haue thankcSjir isadeare expcnfc: 

But herein meaiic 1 to enrich my paine^ 

To haue his fight thithcr^and back againe. '^xit* 
Effter Quince the Carpenter^andSm^ge^tbe loyne^and 
YtoXtoiWythe mauer\ and Flute^ the Belhrves menAer\^ 
Smyxtfthe Tinker\anii Srarueling the Tayler^ 
Qnw, Is all our company hccre? 
^ot. You wcrcbeft to call them generally, man by 

CQan,according to the fcrippe. 
QHinMtxtL is the fcrowle of cuery mans name, which is 

thought fit,throueh alv^//&f«/,toplay in ourEntcrlude,be- 

fore the.Ouke,& the Dutches^on hiswcddingday at night. 

Bflf /•Firft good Teeter Quince fzy what the Play treats on; 

thcaread the names of the Aftors;acfo grow lo a point. 

AMidfommernightcs drcame. 

5^^».Mary,our Play is the mofl lamentable comedy, 
and mod crucll death of Tyramtu and Thifhj^ 

*Bou A very good peccc of worke,! aflurc you» & a mer- 
ry .Now good 'PeetcrQftificg^csiW forth your A6tors,by the 
Quift. Anfwcrc,as I call you. NtckBottorrUy the Weaucr? 
^ott. Rcadic .* Name what part I am for, andprocecde. 
Qnin^ Xow^Nick^Bonom arc fccdownefor7'^r/i»?w<. 
'Bott- What is Pyrawtuf a louer*, or a tyrant? - 
Qui».A louer that kilshirafclfe,moft gallanr/orloue. 
Bott. That will afkefomcteares m the true performing 
of it, if I doe it,Iet the Audience looke to their eyes.-I wil 
mooue llormes ; I will condole,in fomc meafurc. To the 
reft y et,my chiefe humour is for a tyrants 1 could play £r- 
r/w rarely ,or a part to tearc a Catin , to make ail fplit the 
ragingrocks : and fhiuering fliocks,{haIlbreakc the locks 
ofprifon gates, and P^/^^/wcarre fhalifhine from farre, 
and make & marre the foolifh Fates.This was loftie.No w, 
name the reft ofthe Players, This is £rf/i?/vainc,a tyrants 
vaine : A louer is more condoling. 
Qum.FraHcifFUtte^t\\^ Bcllowes menderf 
Tltt. Here Teeter Qjiince. 
Qut».Flute^you muft take t^ffi/f on you. 
Fia.V/tizt is ThtfiyfA wandring knight? 
QtiM. It is the Lady,that Pj/ramru muft loue. (ming. 
F/.Nayfaith.Icc not mcplay awoma.-Ihaue abeardco- 
gflfwi^ Thats all (hall play itin a Malkcjandy ou 
may fpeake as fmall as you will. 

!2?(?/f .And I may hide my face, let me play Thifh^ to ' He 
fpeake in a monftrous little voice; Thifnej Thtfne^ ah 
ramu4^my louer deare,thyr-6;/$;deare,& Lady deare. 
iJf^.No, muft play Pyrammx^ Flnte^ you Thyfi)>^ 
i?i?/,Wcll,proccede* Q^uu-B^bmStarjieimg^ih^J^iUif 
Star, Here Peeter Qnince^ 

Qu$v,Ro^iftSMrf4el/ff£,youmu[{ play Tfyfh^^s mothtrx 


AMldfommer nights Dreamc, 

Tow Snow^, the Tinker. 
SHotPtMeve Peter Qftmce, 

Qnin, You,P)rr4;^«j father ; my fclfe.7l&w^/>/ father; 
Snugge the Ioyncr,you the Lyons part : and I hope here is 
a play fitted. 

SnttgM2\xc you the Lyons part written ? pray you if it 
bCjgiuc It mc,for I am flowc of ftudy. 

Quin, You may do it extempore^ for it is nothing but 

Bot, Let me play the Lyon too, I will roarc,that I will 
do any mans heart good tohcarcme.I will roarc, that I 
will make the Duke fay,Let him roarc again, let him roarc 

f you Oiould do it too terribly ,you would fright 
the DutchclTc and the Ladics,that they would flitikc, and 
that were enough to hang vs all. 

^//.That would hang vs euery mothers fonne. 

Bot. I grant you friends, if you fliould fright the Ladies 
out of their wits, they would hauc no more difcrction but 
to hang vs : but I will aggrauate my voyce fo, that I will 
roarc you as gently as any fucking Doue ; I will roareyou 
and t'wcrc any Nightingale. 

Quin.^ow can play no part but PirantM^ for Piramm is 
a fwect fac't man,a proper man as one fhal fee in a fommers 
day ; a moft louely gentlemanlike man,thercforc y ou mud 
needs play Piramm, 

Well,! will vndertake it.What beard were I bcft to 
play it in? 

^/».Why,what you will, 

Bot A will difcharge it,in eythcr your ftraw- colour beard, 
your orange tawny beard^your purple in graine beard, or 
your french crowne colour bcard,your pcrfit yellow. 

j^/;r.Some of your french crowncs hauc no haire at all ; 
and then you will play bare fac't. But mafters hcerc arc 
yourpart$,and I am to entreat you,requcft you,and defirc 


A Midfommer nights Drcame. 

you,to con them by too morrow night; andmcctcmc in 
the palace wood, a mile without the townc, byMoonc- 
light,thcrc wc will rehearfc : for if we mecicin the Gtty, 
we fliall be dogd with company.and our deuifes knownc' 
In the meane timc,I will draw a bill of properties, fuch as 
our play wants. I pray you failc me not* 

Bor. Wc will mectc, and there wc may rehearfc more 
obfccncly and couragioufly. Take paincs,bc perfit, adieu. 

Quin.Kt the Dukes oke we mcete. 

if<>/.Enough,hold or cut bow-firings. Exeunt, 
Eftterafairyatonedoore^and Rohin good-felloy9 
at another. 

Roif in. Hovf now fpirit,whethcr wander you ? 
Fat.Oucr hill,oucr dalc,through biiai,ihrough brier 
Ouer parke oucr pale,through nood,through fire, 
I do wander euery where, fwifter then the Moons fphere • 
And I fcruc the Fairy Queene, to dew her orbes vpon the 
Thccowfljps tall.hcrpenfioners be, (grecne. 
In their gold coats,fpots you fee, 
Thofe be Rubies. Fairy fauours^ 
In thofe frecklcsjiue their fauors, 
I mufl goe fccke fame dew drops here, 
And hang a pcarle in cucry cowflips eare. 
Farwell ihou Lob of fpirits.Ucbegonc, 
Our Q^ucenc and all her Elues come here anon. 
^o^.The King doth keepe his Reucls hecre to night, 

Take heed the Quecne come not within his fight, 

ForO^^rowispafnng fell and wrath, 

Bccaufc that her attendant,hath 

A loucly boy ftoUen from an Indian king, 

Shcneucr had fo fweete a changeling, 

And icalous 0^^^« would hauc the ch'ildc. 

Knight of his trainc,to trace the Forrcfts wildc. 

But fhe,pcrforcc with-holds the loued boy, 

Ctownes him with flowcrs,and makes him all her icy, 

B 3 And 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

A nd now they ncucr mccte i n grouc,or grccnc. 
By fountainc clccrc,or fpangled ftarlight fhecne. 
But they do fquarc,that all their Elucs for fearc 
Crcepc into acornc cup$,and hide them there. 

Fai.Enhct I miftake your fhape and making quite. 
Or elfc you are that (hrewd and knauiQi fpirit, 
Caird Rohin good-fellow, hit you not hcc, 
That frights the maidens of the Villagree, 
Skim milke,and fometimes labour in the querne. 
And bootleffe make the breathlefle hufwife cherne. 
And fometime make the drinke to beare no barme, 
Mif-lcade night-wandercrs,laughing at their harmei 
Thofe that hobgoblin call you,and mecte Puck, 
You do their worke,and they (hall haue good lucke# 
Are not you he ^ (the night, 

iRo^.Thou fpeak'ft aright ; I am that merry wanderer of 
I ieaft to 0^frtf»,and make him fmile. 
When I a fat and beane-fed horfe beguile ; 
Neighing in likcncffe of a filly foale, 
And fometime lurke I in a golfips bole. 
In very likenelTe of a rofted crab. 
And when (he drinkes,againll; her lips I bob^ 
And on her withered dewlop poure the ale. 
The wifeft Aunt telling the faddeft tale, 
Sometime for three foote ftoole,miftaketh me^ 
Then flip I from herbum,downe topples (he. 
And tailour cryes>and fah into a cone, 
And then the whole Quire hold their hip5,and loffe. 
And waxen in their mirth,and neeze,and fwcarc, 
A merrier houre was neuer wafted there. 
But roomeFairy,herc comes O heron, 

Kw. And here my miftrclfe : would that he were gone, 
€nter the King of Fairies at one doore with his traine, 
and we Queene at another with heirs^ 

own met by raoonc-light,proud Tjtania* 



A Midfommernights Dreame. 

^fi^ffwtf. What/iealous Oheron f Fairy skip hence. 
Ihauc forfwornehis bed and company. 

O^.Tarry rafh wanton ; am not I thy Lord ? 

jg««ThenImuft be thy Lady : but I know 
When thou haft ftollen away from Fairy Land, 
And in the fhapcof Cor/w, fat all day, 
playing on pipes of corne,and vcrfing loue. 
To amorous P hi Ih'da. V>Jhy art thou here 
Come from the farthcftftccpe of India? 
But that forfooth the bouncing ^waz>o»y 
Your buskind miftrcflc,and your warrior loue. 
To Thefeus muft be wedded ; and you come. 
To giue their bed ioy and profperity. 

O^.How canft thou thus for niame,7)A/f>r/4, 
Glance at my crcdiic^with Hippo/ita ? 
Knowing I know thy loue to Thefew. 
Didft not thou Icade him through the glimmering night. 
From Perigenia,vihom he raui(hcd f 
And make him with faire Eagles breake his faith 
With Ariadne^zn^ j4ntiopa ? 

QueeK^lhtic are the forgeries of iealoufic, 
And neuer fince the middle Sommers fpring, 
Met we on hill,in dalc,forreft or mead, 
Bypaucd fountainc,or by ruftiy brooke. 
Or in the beached margent of the fea. 
To dance our ringlets to the whiftling winde. 
But with thy bra wles thou haft difturbd our fport. 
Therefore the windes,pyping to vs in vaine. 
As in reuengc,haue fuckt vp from the fea. 
Contagious fogs ; which falling in the Land» 
Hath euery pelting riuer made fo proud. 
That they haue ouer-bome their Continents. 
The Oxe hath therefore ftretcht his yoke in vaine. 
The ploughman loft his fweat^and the grecnc Cornc 
Hath rotted,ere his youth attaind a beard : 

P 4 The 

A Midfommer nights Dreamc 

The fold ftands empty ,iii the drowned field. 

And Crowes arc factcd with themurrion flocke. 

The nine mens Morris is fild vp with mud. 

And the qucini Maxes in the wanton grccne^ 

For lacke of trcad,are vndiftinguifliable. 

The humane mortals want their winter hecre. 

No night is now with hymme or carroll bleft ; 

Therefore the Moone (the goucrnefle of Hoods) 

Pale in her angcr,waflics all the aire ; 

That Rheumaticke difeafcs do abound. 

And through this diftemperaturc,wc fee 

The fcafons a! ter ; hoarcd headed frotts 

Fall in the frefh lap of the crimfon Rofe, 

And on old Hyems chinnc and Icic crowne. 

An odorous Chaplet of fweete Sommcr buds 

Is as in mockery fet.The Spring.the Sommer, 

The childing Autumne.angry Winter change 

Their wonted Liuerics.and ihemazcd world. 

By their increare,now knowes not which is which; 

And this fame progeny of euiis. 

Comes from our debatc,from ourdiffention. 

We ire their parents and originall. 

Ol;croi7.T>o you amend it thcn,it lyes in you. 
Why Hiould TftaniA croffe her Oberon ? 
I do but beg a little changeling boy. 
To be my Henchman. 

^HeeneSct your heart at refl-, 
The Fairy land buies not the childe of me, 
His mother was a Votreffe of my order. 
And in the fpicred Indian ajre,by night 
Full often hath flie goffipt by my fide, 
And fat with me on Neptunes yellow fands. 
Marking th'embarked traders on the flood. 
When we hauelaught to fee the failcs concciuc. 
And grow big bellied with the wanton winde. 


A Mldfommer nights Dreame. 

Which fhc with pretty and with fwimming gate. 
Following (her v;ombe then rich with my young fquire) 
Would imiiatc^andfailc vpon the Land. 
To fetch me trifles^and returne againc. 
As from a voyage, rich with merchandize, 
Butfhe being moTcall,of that boy did dye. 
And for her fake do I reare vp her boy. 
And for her fake I will not part with him, 

O^.How long within this wood intend you ftay? 
^^^w. Perchance till after Thefem wedding day, 
Ifyou will patiently dance in our Round, 
And fee our Moonc-light rcuels.go with vs ; 
If not,fhun me and I will fpare your haunts. 
O^.Giuc mc that boy, and I will go with thee. 
^.Not for thy Fairic Kingdome.Fairies away : 
We (hall chide downeright,if I longer flay. Exeunt 

O^.Wclljgo thy way : thou (hah not from this groue. 
Till I torment thee for this iniury. 
My genileP^/r^comchither ; thouremembrcft 
Since once I fat vpon a promontory. 
And heard a Meare-maide on a Dolphins backe, 
Vttering fuch dulcet and harmonious breath. 
That the rude fea grew ciuill ac her fong, 
And ccrtaine ftarrcs fhot madly from their Sphearw^ 
To heart the Sea-maids muficke, 
Phc A remember. 

Of That very time I fay (but thou couidft not) 
Flying bctwecnc the coldeMoone and the earth, 
CiipiazW^Tmd ; a ccrtaine aimc he cookc 
Ac a fairc Ve[kn,throned by Weft, 
And loos*d his loue-fTiaft fmartly from his bow- 
As it (hould pierce a hundred thoufand hearts. 
But I might fee young Cftpuls fiery fliaft 
Quencbt in the chafte beames of the watry Moonc^ 
And the imperiall Votrclfc paffed oHj 

C In 




A Midfbmmer nights Drcaine, 

In maiden meditation, fancy free. 
Yctmarkt I where the bolt of ^^/</fc|. 
It fell vpon a little wefterne flower ; 
Before,mi!kc- white ; now purple with loues wound 
And maidens call it,Loue in idlencffe, ' ,^6 

Fetch me that flower ; the hcarb I ihew'd thee once 
Theiuyccof it,onflcepmg eye-Iids laidc, ' 
Will make or man or woman madly dote 
Vpon the next hue creature that it fees. 
Fetch me this hearbe,and be thou here againe^ 
Ere the Letcuahan can fwim a league* 

P^.Ilc put a girdle about the earth,in forty minutes. 

O^^M.Haujng once this iuyce. 
He watch 7»i«r/<^, whence (be is afleepe. 
And drop the liquor of it in her eyes 
The next thing when flic waking lookes vpon 

it on Lyon,Bearc,or Wolfe, or Bull, * , 7^ 

n medling Monkey ,or on bufic ApcJ 
She fliall purfue it^with the foule of louc. 
And ere I take this charme off from her fight, 
(As I can take it with auothcr hearbe) 
lie make her render vp her Page to me. 
But who comes hcerc ? I am inuifrble. 
And I will oucr-heare their conference. 

Enter Bermrim^HeUm following him. 

Deme. I loue thee noc,thercforc purfue mc not. 
Where is Lyfander and faire Hermia 7 
The one lie flay,the other ftayeth me. 
Thou loidlx roc they were flolne vnco this wood ; 
And here am I and wood within this wood j, 
Bccaufc I cannot meetc my Hey ma, 
Hcnce,get thee gone^snd follow tne no more* 

HeLYovL draw rae,you hard-hearted Adamant, 
But yet you draw not Iron/cr my heari 
Is true as flecle . Leaue you your power to draw. 

And ! 

A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

And I ftiall haueno power to follow you. 

Deme.'Do I entice you ? do I fpcakc you fairc i 
Or rather do I not in plaineft truths 
Tell you I do not,not I cannot loue you f 

Jfe/. And cucn for that do 1 loue thee the more ; 
I am your (paniell^ and Demetrius^ 
The more you bcatc me,I will fawnc on you. 
Vfeme but as your fpaniell ; fpurne mc,ftrike mc, 
Negle£lnie,lofe me ; onely giuc me leauc 
(Vnworthy as I am) to follow you. 
What worfcr place can 1 beg in your loue, 
f And yet a place of high re(pc6V with me) 
Then to be vfcd as you vfeyour dog. 

2)r;».Tempt not too much the hatred of my fpirit, 
For I am ficke when 1 do looke on thee, 

Hel. And I am (ickc when I looke not on you. 

Deme.YoM do impeach your modefty coo mucb^ 
To leauethe Citiy,and commit your felfc 
Into the hands ot one that loues you noc^ 
To truft the opportunity of nighty 
And the ill counfcU of a defert place. 
With the rich worth of your virginity. 

HeLYoui vertuc is my priuiledge : for that 
It is not night when I do fee your tace. 
Thereforcl thinke I am not in thenight» 
Nor doth this wood lacke worlds of company. 
For you in my re(pe£t are all the world. 
Then how can it be faid I am alone. 
When all the world is here to looke on me f 

DcmMc run &om thee,and hide me in the brakes. 
And leaue thee to the mercy of wilde Bcafts. 

HeLTht wildeft hath not fuch a heart as you ; 
Runne when you will,the ftory ftiall be chaung'd : 
jfpollo Ryes^ind Daphrutholds the chafe ; 
The Doue purfues the GrifTeDjthe milde Hinde 

C 1 Makes 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Makes fpecd to catch the Tygre.Bootlcfle fpeedc, ^j; 
When cowardifc purfues,and valor flyes, 

DemetA will not ftay thy qucftionsjct me go ; 
Or if thou follow mc,do not bclccue. 
But 1 fhall do thee mifchiefc in the wood. 235 

HeL l,in the Tcmple,in the Towne,and Field 
You do me mifchicfc.Fyc Demetritu, 
Your wrongs do fet a fcandall on my fcx : 
We cannot fight for Iouc,as men may do ; 239 
We fliould be woo'd,and were not made to wooc. 
He follow thee and make a hcauen of hell, 
To dye vpon the hand I loue fo well. Exit, 

O^.Fare thee well Nymph,ere he do leaue this groue, 24J 
Thou ftialt flyc him,and he (hall feekc thy loue. 
Haft thou the flower there ? Welcome wanderer* 
Enter Fttckf, 

I, there it is. 

Ob A pray thee giue it me, 247. 
I know a banke where the wilde time blowes. 
Where Oxflips and the nodding Violet growcs. 
Quite ouercanoped with luftiious woodbine. 
With fwcete muske rofes,and with Eglantine; 251 
There fleepes TytamaSomtlwat of the night, 
Luld in thefcflowcrsiwith dances and delight: 
And there the fnake throwes her enammeld skinne» 
'Weed wide enough to rap a Fairy in. 255 

And with the iuyce of this,lle ftreake her eyes. 

And make her full of hateful! fantafies. 

Take thou fome of it,and feekc through this grouc; 

A fwcete Athman Lady is in loue 259 

With a difdaincfull youth : annoint bis eyes, 

But do it when the next thinghe cfpics, 

May be the Lady*Thou fhalt know the man. 

By the Athenian garments he hath oti# 263 

BfFed tt with fomc care,that he may prooue 


A Midfommers nights Dreame, 

More fond on hcr,thcn fhc vpon her louc ; 
And lookc thou mcctc mc crc the firft Cocke crow. 
Pitf.Fcarc not my I.ord,your fcruant (hall do lb. Exeunt* 
Enter Queene of Fairies ^with her traine. 
Queen, Comcynovi a Roundcli,and a Fairy fong ; 
Xhcnfor the third part of a minute hence, 
Some to kill cankers in the muske rofe buds^ 
Some warre with Reremife,for their leathern wings. 
To make my fmall Elucs coate$,and fome kcepe backe 
The clamorous Owle,that nightly hootcs and wonders 
At our qucint fpirits : Sing mc now afleepc, 
Then to your officcs,and let me reft. 

Fairies Jing. 
Ton ffottedfnakes with double tongue ^ 
Thornj Hedgehogges Be notfeene. 
Newts andilindewormes do no wrong 
Come not neere our Fairy queene ^ 
fhilomele with melody y 
Sing in our fweett LMllafyt 
Neuer harme^nor /pell,nor charme. 
Come our louely Lady nye* 
So goodnight with Lullaby » 

I .Fairy, Weauing Spiders come not heere^ 
Henceyou long legdSfinders^hence : 
'Beetles blacke approch not neere \ 
Worme nor Snayle do no offence. 
Philomele with melody ^(^c, 

2,FaitHence away^now all is well\ 
One aloofe^fland CentinelU 

Enter Oberon, 
0^*What thou fecft when thou doft wake. 
Do it for thy thy true loue take : 
Louc and languifh for his fake. 
Be U Ounce^or Cattc,or Bcarc, 

C 5 Pard. 

A Midfommer nights Drea mc 

Pard,orBoare with bridled haire^ 
In thy eye that (Kail appearc. 
When thou wak*ft, it is thy dearc. 
Wake when (ome vile thhig is nccre. 

Smer Lyftnder And Hermia^ 

Z^/^Faire louc,you faint with wandring in the woods» 
And CO fpeake troth I haue forgot our way • 
Wec'l reft vs Hermia^x^ you thinke it good. 
And tarry for the comfort of the day. 

fIer,Be it Co Lyfandet ; finde you out a bed. 
For I vpon this banke will reft my head. 

LyfOnt turffc fliall ferae as pillow for ?s both. 
One heart,onc bed,two bofoines,and one troth. 

HerJ^^j good Ljfander for my fake my dearc 
Lie further off yct,do not lie fo necre. 

LyfX> take the fence fweeie,of my innocence^ 
Loue takes the meanitig,in loues conference, 
I meane that my heart vnto yours is knit* 
So that but one heart we can make of it. 
Two bofomes interchained with an oath. 
So then two bofomes^and a fingle troth. 
Then by your (ide^no bed-roomeme deny. 
For lying (o^Hermiaido not lye. 

Her.Lyfander riddles very prettily ; 
Now much bcftirew my manners and my pride^ 
If Hermia meant to fay, Zyy4(yf/&r lied. 
But gentle friend>for loue and courteiie 
Lie turther off,in humane modedy, may wellbefaid. 
Becomes a vertuous batchellor,and amaidc^ 
So farrebc diftant,and good night fweet friend , 
Thy loue nerc alter till thy fweete life cndc. 

LyfKmtn amen,tothac fairepraier) fay I, 
And then end life^when I end loialty ; 
Heere is my bed,(leepe giue thee all his reft. 

A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

Hcr.With halfc that wifh the wirticrs eyesbeprcft, 
Eftter Fucke^ 

P/iri(;.Through the Forreft hauc I gone, 
But Athenian findc I none. 
On whofc eies I might approue 
This flowers force in ftirring loue. 
Night and filcncc: who is hccre ? 
VVccdcs of Athens he doth wcare : 
This is he fmy maftcr faid) 
Defpifcd inc Athenian maide : 
And heerc the maiden flceping found, 
On the danke and dirty ground. 
Pretty foule,(lie durft not lye 
Neere this lack loue,this kill-curtefie. 
ChurIe,vpon thy eyes I throw 
All the power this charme doth owe ; 
When thou wak*ft,lct loue forbid 
Sleepchis fcate,on thy eye-lid. 
So awake when 1 am gone ; 
For I muft now to Oheron. Exit. 
Snter Demetrius and Helena running. 

H*/.Stay,though thou kill mc,fweetc Demtrita. 

De.l charge thee hence,and do not haunt me thus, 

Hel,0 wilt thou darkling Icaue me ? do not fo# 

2)tf'.Stay on thy pcrill,! alone will goe. 

HeLOl am out of breath,in this fond chafe. 
The more my praicr,thc Icffer is my grace. 
Happy is Hprfw/i<,whcrefoerc fhe lies 5 
For foe hath blcifed and atiradiuc cyes# 
How came her eyes fo bright ? Not with fait tcarcs. 
If fo,my cics arc ofmcr waflit then hets» 
No,no, I am as vgly as a Bcare ; 
For beafts that mecte mc junnc away for fcare, 
Therefore no maruailc,though Demetrm 
Do as a monftcr, fiic my pretence thus. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

what wicked and dilTembling glaflc of mine. 
Made me compare with Hermias fphery cyne? 
But who is here, Lyftftder on the grouud ? 
Dead or afleepc ? I fee no bIood,no wound, 
Lyfander y\( you liue^good fir awake, 

Lyf.Knd run through fire I will for thy fweet Take, 
Tranfparant H<?/<f»^,nature fliewcs arte. 
That through thy bofome makes me fee thy heart. 
Where is Demetritu ? oh how fit a word 
Is that vile name,to perifli on my fword ! 

Hel.Do not fay fo Ly fonder not fo : 
What though he louc your Hermia i Lord,what though ? 
Yet Hermia ftill loues you ; then be content, 

Z^/^Content with Herm'm ? No,I do repent 
The tedious minutes I with her haue fpent. 
Not Hermta^but Helena now I louc 5 
Who will not change a Rauen for a Doue i 
The will of man is by his reafon fwai'd : 
And reafon faies you are the worthier maid. 
Things growing are not ripe vntill their feafon ; 
So I being youn^, till now ripe not to reafon. 
And touching now the point of humane skill, 
Reafon becomes the Mar (hall to my will. 
And leads me to your eyes, where I orelooke 
Loues ftories.written in Loues richeft bookc. 

H(f/. Wherefore was I to thiskecne mockery borne? 
When at your hands did I dcferue this fcornc ? 
Ift not enough,ift not enough,young man. 
That I did neuer,no nor neuer can, 
Deferueafweete looke from Demetrimtyc, 
But you muft flout my infufficcncy ? 
Good troth you do me wrong (good-footh you do) 
In fuch difdainfull manner,mc to wooe. 
But fare you well ; perforce I muft confelTe, 
I thought you Lord of more true gcnilcncffe^ 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Oh.that a Lady of one man rcfvs'd. 

Should of another therefore be abusM. Exit. 

LyflShc fees not Hermia : Hermiaficcpe thou there. 
And neuer maift thou come Lyfunder nccre ; 
For as a furfet of the fwceteft things 
The dccpcft loathing to the ftomackc brings ; 
Or as the herefics that men do leaue. 
Arc hated moft ofthofc they did dcceiuc ; 
So thou,my furfet, and my hcrcfie. 
Of all be hated ; but the moft of me ; 
And all my powers addreffc your loue and might. 
To honour Helen to be her Knights Exit, 

/f^.Helpc me Ly fonder, me 5 do thy bcft 
To pluckc this crawling ferpcnt from my brcft. 
Aye mc,for pitty ; what a dreamc was here ? 
Lyfander looke,how 1 do quake with feare 2 
Me-thought a ferpent eate my heart away. 
And you fat fmilingat his cruell prey. 
Ly fonder ^s^hzx. remoou'd ? Lyfander^Lord, 
What,out of hearing,gonc > No found,no word ? 
Alackc where are you t fpcake and if you heare ; 
Spcake of all loucs ; I fwound aimoft with fcarc. 
No.then I well pcrceiue you arc not nye, 
Eyther death or you ile findc immediately. Sxit» 
Enter thepownef. 

J?<»f.Are weallmet? 

^/>i.Pat,pat,and hercs amaruailous conucnicnt place 
for our rehearfall.This grcene plot (hall be our ftagc, this 
hauthorne brake our tyring houfe,and we will doe it in ac- 
tion, as we will do it before the Duke, 

B0t» 'Peter quince? 


Tot, There are things in this Comedy o£Piramus9nd 
rt^^y,that will neuer pleafe. V'iTi\PframM muft draw a 
fword to kill himfclfc which the Ladycs cannot abide. 

D How 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

How anfwcryou that ? 

4j«o«r.Bcrlakcn,a parlous feare. 

Star,! bclccue wc muft Icauc the killing out, when all is 

Bot.Noi a whit, I haue a dcuice to make aJi well. Write 
me a Prologuc,and let the Prologue feemc lo fay, wee will 
do no harmc with our fwords, and that Pyramut is not kild 
indeed : and for the more better affurancc, tell them that I 
Vtramus annnot Piramui^^m Bottome the Weauer; this will 
pucthemoutof feare, 

Well,wc will hauc fuch a Prologue,and it (hall be 
written in eight and (ixe. 

'Bot, No,makc it two more, let it be written in eight fic 

Snouty^Wi not the Ladies be afeard of the Lyon ? 
Star.l feare itjl promifeyou. 

Bot. Mafters,you ought to confider with your felfe, to 
bring in (God ffiield vs) a Lyon among Ladies, isamoft 
dreadfull thing . For there is not a more fearcfull wildc 
fowie then your Lyon liuing: and we ought to lookc to it. 

Snout, Therefore another Prologue muft tell he is not a 

Bot, Nay, you muft name his name, and halfe his face 
mud be feene through the Lyons necke, and hec himfelfe 
muft fpcakc through, faying thus.or to the famedeffe^; 
LadieSjOr faire Ladies, I would wifh you, or I would re-^ 
qucftyoUjOr I would entreat you .not to feare,not to trem- 
ble : my life for yours.If you ihinke I come herher as a Ly- 
oo,it were pitty of my life. No,/ am no fuch thing./ am a 
man as other men arc 5 and there indeed let him name his 
;iamc,and tell them plainly he is Snug the ioyner. 

Qnin. Well, it Oiall be fo ; but there is two hard things, 
that !s,to bring the Moone-light into a chamber : for you 
IcnovfJPirdmw and Thi^l^j meeteby Moone-light. 

iVDoih the Moone (bine that night we play our play ? 



A Midfommer nights Dreatne. 

Bottom^ Calender.a Calcnder,looke in the Almanack, 
findeoutMoonc-fhinCjfindc out Mooncfhinc. 

Quin.Yts^iz dotK (bine that night. 

Bot. Why then may you Icauc a cafcmcnr ofthc great 
chamber window (where wc play) open, and the Moonc 
may fhinc in at the cafcment. 

Qum, I,or elfc one muft come in with a bufh of lhorns,& 
a lanthorne,and fay he comcsio disfigure,of to prefcnt the 
pcrfon of Moone-fliine* Then there is another thing, we 
mufthauca wall in the great Chamber ; fot Piramw and 
Thh6y (faies the ftory ) did talke through the chinkc of a 

Sft,Yo\i canneuer bring in a wall. What fay you Bottome} 
"Bot, Some manor other muQprefent wall, and Icthira 
hauc fome plaftcr, or fome lome, or fome rough caft about 
him,tofignifie wall ; or let him hold his fingers thus; and 
through that cranny,fhall Piramiis and Thishy whifpcr, 

QmnA^ that may be, then all is well. Comc,fit downe c- 
ucry mothers fonnc,and rehearfe your parts, prramus^ you 
begin ; when you haue fpoken your fpcech,cnicr into that 
Brake,and fo cuery one according to his cue. 
Enter Ro$tn, 

^o^.What hempen home-fpuns haue we fwaggring hcrc_, 
So neere the Cradle of the Fairy Qucene ? 
What,a play toward f He be an auditor, 
An a£lor too perhaps^if I fee caufe. 

jQ«/«.Spcakc PiramWy Thisby ftand forth. 

PirJThisby flowers of odious fauors fwccie. 


7*/V.Odours fauors fwectc. 
So hath ihy brcath,my dearcft Thisbj deare. 
But harkc, a voyce ; (lay thou but hecrc a while. 
And by and by I will to thee appeare. €xit^ 

^in,h ftranger Pirnmm then ere plaid here, 

Thifs Muft I Ipeake now ? 

Y> % I 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Pa. I marry muft you. For you muft vnderftand he goes 
but to fee a noyfe that he heard,and is to come againe. 

ThjfMoR radiant ViramHsjmo&i Lilly white of hue 
Of colour like the red roCcon triumphant bryer, * 
Moft brisky Iuuenall,and eke moft louely lew,* 
As true as trueft horfejthat yet would neuer ryre. 
He meete thee Viramsa ^zt Ninnies toombe. 

PetMnus toombe man: why you muft not fpcake that 
yet ; that you anfwcr to Ptramm ? you fpcake all your part 
*t once,cues and &lPsramU6 entcr^your cue is paft ; it is nc- 
uer tyre. 

7%v/. 0,as true as trueft horfe,that yet would neuer tyre. 

Ptt\U I were £mcj'kjfy I were onely thine. 

Pet.O monftrous.O ftrangc. We arc haunted ; pray ma- 
fters ftyemafters,helpe. 

-^o^.lle follow you,Ile leadcyou about a Round, 
Through bogge, through bufti, through brake, through 
Sometime a horfe He be,fomciime a hound, (brycr 
A bogge,aheadie(rebeare,fometimeafire. 
And neigh,and barke.and grunt,and rore,and burne. 
Like hoife,hound,hog,beare,firc,at euery turnc. £xiu 
JSof.Whydothcy run away ? This is a knaucry of them 
to make me afeard. JSnfer Snowt, 

Sff^O 3ottom,thoii art chang d ; what do I fee on thee ? 

What do you fee ? you fee an affe head of your own. 
Do you ? 

Efttcr Peter qmnce^ 
i'^f.Blefl'ethec "Bottome^hlcSz thee 5 thou an tranflatcd. 


'Bot.l fee their knauery ; this is to make an afTe of me, to 
f nghr me if they could ; but I will not ftir from this place, 
do what they can,! will walke vp and downc heere, and I 
wiU /ing that they Oiall heare I am not afraid. 
The Woofell cocke/o blackc of hew, 
With Orange tawny bill. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

TheThroftlcwiih his note fo true, 
The Wren with little quill, 

TytofJta.WhsiK Angell wakes me from my flowry bed ? 

Bot.Tht Finch,the Sparrow,and the Larke, 
The plainfong Cuckow gray ; 
Whofc note mil many a man doth marke. 
And dares not anfwer^nay« 

For indecd,who would fet his wit to To foolifh a bird ? 
Who would giue a bird the lye,though he cry Cuckow^ne* 
uer fo ? 

lytaJL pray thee gentle mortall,(ing againe. 
Mine care is much enamored of thy note ; 
On the firft view to fay, to fweare 1 loue thee. 
So is mine eye enihrallcd to thy fhape. 
And thy faire vercucs force (perforce) doth mouc me, 

Bot, Me-thinks miftrcife, you ihould haue little reafon 
for that : and yet to fay the truth,rcafon and loue kecpc lit- 
tle company togethcr,now adayes.The more the piity,that 
fome hone A neighbours will not make them friends. Nay 
I can gleeke vpon occafion. 

Tyta.Jhou art as wife,as thou art beautifulJ. 

.Not fo neither : but if I had wit enough to get out 
of this wood,l haue enough to ferue mine owne turne, 

Tyta.Out of this wood,do not defire to goe. 
Thou fhalt remaine here,whether thou wilt or no. 
I am a fpirit of no common rate ; 
The Sommer ftill doth tend vpon my ftate. 
And I do loue thee ; therefore go with me. 
He giue thee Fairies to attend on thee • 
And they (hall fetch thee Jewels from the decpe. 
And fing, while thou on prclfed flowers doft flccpe . 
And I will purge thy mortall grolfeneifc fo. 
That thou (halt like an ayry fpirit go. 

CcbtvehyCMoth.and Muftard-feed, 
Enter foure fairies, 
D 3 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

/vf/.Rcady j and /, and /, and /.Where (hall we go ? 

TttaJBe kindeand curteous to this Gentleman, 
Hop in his walkes,and gambole in his eies, 
Feedc him with Apricocks,and Dewberries, 
With purple Grapes.greene Figs^and Mulberries, 
The hony bags fteale from the humble Bees, 
And for night tapers,crop chcir waxen thighes. 
And light them at the fiery Glow-wormcs eies. 
To hauemy ioue to bcd,and to arifc 
And plucke the wings from painted Butterflies, 
To fanne the Moone-bcames from his fleeping eyes. 
Nod to him EIues,and do him curtefies. 

x.F^/.Haile mortall^hailc. 

2. F4/.Haile. 

3. F/n'.Haile. 

Bot^ I cry your worChips mercy hartily ; I bcfccch your 

Bot^ I (hall defire you of more acquaintance, good Ma. 
fter Cof^mb : if / cut my finger, / fliall make bold with you. 
Your name honcft gentleman ? 

Peaf, PeafeMojfome, 

Bot, [pray you commend metomiftreffe S^uafh^yont 
Motherland to maftcr Peafcodyour Father, Good matter 
Peafeblojfome, / (hall dcfire you of more acquaintance to« 
Your name I befcech you fir ? 
Muf. Mfifiard feeds, 

Boi.GooA mz{{^r LMusiard feed^ I know your patience 
well : that fame cowardly gyant-like Oxe-bcefe hath de- 
uoured many a gentleman of your houfe. I promife you, 
your kindred hath mademy eyes water ere now. Idefire 
you more acquaintance,good Matter Muflardfeed» 

77r<«,Comc waite vpon him,leade him to my bower* 
The Moone me-thinks,lookes with a watry eic. 
And when (he wcep€s,wcepe eucry little flower, 



A MidfommernightsDreame. 

Lamenting fomc enforced chaftity, 
Tye vp my louers tongue,bring him filently. Exit, 
inter King of Fairies, and Robin good-fellm. 
Oh,l wonder if TunntA be awak't ; 
Then what it was that next came in her eye, 
Which (he muft dote on^in extremity. 
Here comes my melTenper how now mad fpirit. 
What night-rule now about this haunted groueV 

Pi/fj^My miftreffe with a monftcr is in loue, 
Necrc to her clofe and confecrated bower. 
While fhe was in her dull and fleepinghower, 
A crew ofpatches,rude Mechanicals, 
That workeforbreadjVpon Athenian ftallcs, 
Were met together to rehearfe a play, 
Intended for great Thefew nuptiall day : 
The (hallowert thick-skin of that barren (brt. 
WUoPiramw prefcnted,in their fporc, 
Forfooke his Sccne,and cntrcd in a brake. 
When I did him at this aduantage take. 
An AiTes nole I fixed on his head. 
Anon his Thisbie muft be anfwered. 
And forth my Minnock comes : when they him fpy. 
As wilde geefe,that the creeping Fowler eye. 
Or ruffed pated choughcs,many in fort 
(Rifing and cawing at the guns report) 
Seuerthemfelucs,and madly fweepe the sky : 
So at his (ight,a way his fcllowes flye. 
And at our ftampe,here ore and ore one falles $ 
He murther cryes,and heipe from Athens cals. 
Their fenfe thus weake,loft with their fearcs thus ftrong. 
Made rcnfcleire things begin to do them wrong. 
For briars and thornes at their spparell fnatch, 
Some flecuesjfome hats,from yeelders all things catch, 
I led them on in this diftra^ted feare. 
And left fwecte Piramfid iranilMi there : 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc 

Wbcn in that moment (fo it came to paflc) 
TytanU wake<i,and ftraightway !ou*d an afle. 

O^.This falles out better then I could dcuifc : 
But haft thou yet lacht the Athenians eyes. 
With the loue I did bid chee do ? 

RobA tookc him flecping (that is finifht to) 
And the Athenian woman by his fide. 
That when he wak't,of force (he muft be eydc. 

Enter Demetriw and Hermia, 

O^.Stand clofe, this is the fame ^thenian^ 

^^^.This is the woman,but not this the man. 

Deme O why rebuke you him that loucs you fo ? 
Lay breath fo bitter on your bitter foe. 

H(pr.Now I but chide,but I fliould vfe thee wor(e. 
For thou (I feare) haft giuen me caufe to curfc. 
If thou haft flaine Lyfander in his fleepe, (to 
Being ore fliooes In bloud,pIunge in the dcepe,and kill 
The Sunne was not fo true vnto the day. 
As he to me.Would he haue ftoUen away. 
From fleeping HermU i He belecue as foone 
This whole earth may be bor'd,and that the Moone 
May through the Center creepe^and fodifpleafe 
Her brothers noonetide,with x\x*jintipodet^ 
It cannot be but thou haft murdred him. 
So ftiould a murderer looke^fo dead,fo grim. 

Dem.So ftiould the murdered looke,& fo ftiould I, 
Pierft through the heart with your ftearne cruelty : 
Yet you the murderer looke as bright^as cleare, 
As yonder Vennsm her glimmering fpheare. 

What's this to my Ljfinder} where is he > 
Ah good DemetrtHi yvWt thou giue him me ? 

DemJl^t rather giue his carkaffe to my hounds. 
Her, Owt dog.out curre^thou driu'ftmepaft the bonds 
Of maidens patience.Haft thou flaine him then ? 
Henceforth be neuer numbred among men. 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Oh, once tell true, cuen for my lake, 
Durft thou haue lookt vpon him,bcing awake ? 
And haft thou kild him flecping ? O braue tutch : 
Could not a wormc^an Adder do fo much ? 
An Adder did it.For with doubler tongue 
Then thine (thou fcrpent) neuer Adder ftung. 

Dem,Yo\x fpend your paflion on a mifpriz'd mood, 
I am not guilty of Lyfanders bloud : 
Nor is he dcad,for ought that I can tell. 

Her,\ pray thee tell me thcn,that he is welL 
D^w.And if I could,what ftiould I get therefore ? 
f/tfr. A priuiledge,neuer to fee me more. 
And from thy hated prefence part I,fee me no more. 
Whether he be dead or no« Exit , 

Dem.Thct^ is no following her in this fierce vaine, 
Hccre therefore for a while 1 will remaine. 
So forrowes hcauineflc doth heauicr grow* 
For debt that bankrout flip doth forrow owe, 
Which now in feme flight meafure it will pay. 
If for his tender heere 1 make fome ftay. Lie dcmte. 

O^.What haft thou done ? Thou haft miftakcn quite, 
And laide the louc iuyce on fome true loues fight : 
Of thy mifprifion,muft perforce enfue 
Some true loue tum'd.and not afalfc turnd true. 

Roff.Thcn fate ore-rulcs,that one man holding troth, 
A million faile,confounding oath on oath. 

O^. About the wood,goe fwlfter then the winde. 
And Helena of tyfthe?ts looke thou finde. 
All fancy ficke (he is, and pale of cheere. 
With fighes of loue,that cofts the frefli bloud deare. 
By fome illufion fee thou bring her heere. 
He charme his eies,againft flie do appcare. 

Robin.l go J go,looke how I goe. 
Swifter then arrow from the T mars bowe. Exit» 
OK Flower of this purple die. 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Hie with ^p/^ archery, 
Sinke in apple of his eye. 
When his louc he doth cfpy. 
Let her ihine as glorioufly 
As tht Fhitts of the sky. 
When thou wak*ft,if (he be by. 
Beg of her for remedy. 
Snter Pucke. 

P«f%*Captainc of our Fairy band, 
Helem \ s heere at hand. 
And the youth,miftookc by me. 
Pleading for a Louers fee. 
Shall we thck fond Pageant fee f 
Lord,what foolcs thcfe mortals be ! 

O^.Stand afidc : the noyfe they make. 
Will caufe Demetrim to awake. 

Fuclhtti will two at once wooc one. 
That mud needs be fport alone : 
And thofc things do Dcft pleafe mc. 
That befall prepofteroufly. 

Enter Lypmdtr and Helena^ 
Lyp^hy {liould you think that I fiiould wooe in fcom? 
Scorne and derifion ncuer come in teares : 
looke when 1 vow I wcepc ; and vowes fo borne. 
In their natiuity all truth appearcs. * 
Bow can tbtfe things in nic,fcemc fcornc to you ? 
Bearing the badger of faith to prouc them true, 

HeLYou do aduancc your cunning more andmoye. 
When truth kils truth, O diuclifh holy fray J 
Thefe vowes are Hermof.Will you giuc her ore ? 
Weigh oath with oath,and you will nothing weigh. 
Your YO' ves to hcr,and me (put in two fcaks) 
Will eiien weights nd both as light as tales. 

LvfJ had no iudgement^ when to her 1 fworc. 

HelcHct Ronc in my mindc,now you giuc her ore. 

A Midfommer nights Dream 

LyfrDemetriiis loucs hcr,and he loues not you, 

To what, my loue,mall I compare thine cine ! 
Chriftall is muddy ,0 how ripe in fliowe. 
Thy lipSjthofc kiffing cherries, tempting grow ! 
That pure congealed white; high Tanrw fnow, 
Fan'd with the Eafterne winde,turnes to a crow> 
When thou holdft vp thy hand.O let mc kiffe 
This Princcflfe of pure white, this fcalcof blilfc. 

Hell, O fpight 1 6 hell ! I fee you all are bent 
To fct againft mc, for your merriment. 
If you were ciuill,and knew curtefie. 
You would not do me thus much iniury. 
Can you not hate me,as 1 know you do. 
But you muft ioyne in foules to mocKc me too ? 
If you were men,as men you arc in (bow. 
You would not vfc a gentle Lady fo ; 
To vow,and fweare,and fuperpraife my parts, 
When I am furc y ou hate me with your hearts. 
You both are Riuals,and loue Hermia ; 
And now bothRiuals,to mocke Helena. 
A trim exploit,a manly enterprize, 
To coniure teares vp in apoore maidcs eyes. 
With your derifion^nonc of noble fort. 
Would fo offend a virgine, and extort 
A poorc foules patience, all to make you fport. 

Lyptn^ow are vnkinde Demetriw ; be not fo. 
For you loue Hermia ; this you know I know ; 
And heere with all good will,with all my heart. 
In HermiM loue 1 yeeld you vp my part ; 
And yours of Helena^ to me bequeath, 
Whom I do lotte,and will do to my death. 

HJ.Neuer did mockers waflc more idle breath. 

Deme. Lyfander jkccpe thy Hermia,! will none / 
If etc I lou d her,ali that loue is gone. 

E a 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

My heart to her.but as gueft-wife foiournd 

Andnowto//f/tf»itishonicietutn'd ' 
There to remaine. * 

ijr/Itis notfo. 

^^'".Difparage not the faith thou doft not know 
Leaft to thy penll thou abide ic deare. ' 

Looke where thy Loue comes.yonder is thy deare 
Enter Hermit, 

«r.Darke night,that from the eye his function takes 
The eare more quickeofappvehcnf.on makes, ' 
Wherein it doth impairc the feeing fenfe 
it paies the hearing double tecompence.* 
Thou art not by mine eie, Lyfmder found. 
Mine eare (I thanke it) brought me to thy found. 
But why vnkmdly didft thou leaue me fo > 

W'^^J'J '1''"'''* !«• ftay.whom loue doth prefli to co? 

H«-.What loue could preffe/,^P„^ftommyfi^^^^^^^ 

LyfLyJa^s loue (that would not let hira bide) 
Faire Helena ; who more engilds the night. ^ 
rhen all yon fiery oes.and eics of lightT 

K I *T u'^""."'" ■ 'his make thee know. 

The hate I bare thee,made me leaue thee fo ? 

Jfe/.Loe,{he is one of this confederacy 

Iniunous /Tfrw/^.moft vngratefiiU maide 
Hatie you confpir'd,haue you with thefe contriuM 
1 o baitc me,with this foule dcrifion ? 
Is all the counfell that we two haue fliar'd. 
The fitters vowes,the houres that we haue fpeat. 
When we haue chid the hafly footed time. 
Forparting vs ; O. is all forgot > 
/JI fchoole-daies friendlhip.child-hood innocence ? 
We /ffrmM.hke two artificial! gods, 




A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Hauc with our necdlcs,crcatcd both one flower 

Both on one famplcr,fiiting on one cufhion. 

Both warbling of one fong^both in one key ; 

As if our hands,our fidcs,voices,and mindcs 

Had bin incorporate.So wc grew together. 

Like to a double cherry, feeming parted. 

But yet an vnion in partition. 

Two loucly berries moulded on one ftcmmc, 

So with two Teeming bodies, but one heart. 

Two of the firft life coats in Heraldry, 

Due but to one,and crowned with one crcft. 

And will you rent our ancient loue afunder, 

To ioync with men in fcorning your poore friend f 

It is not friendly,tis not maidenly. 

Our fcxe as well as I,may chide you for it. 

Though I alone do feele the iniury. 

Herd am amazed at your words, 
I fcornc you not ; It fecmes that you fcorne me. 
Hel, Haue you not fct Lyfander^z% in fcocne 

To follow mc,and praife my eies and face ? 

And made your other Louft^Demetrius 

(Who euen but now did fpurne me with his foote) 

To call me godde{re,nimph,diuine,and rare. 

Precious, ccleftiall ? Wherefore fpeakes he this 

To her he hates ? And wherefore doth Lyfander 

Deny your loue (fo rich within his foule) 

And tender me(forfooth)affection. 

But by your fetting on,by your confcnt ? 

What though 1 be not fo in grace as you. 

So hung vpon with loue, fo fortunate ? 

(But miferable moft,to loue vnlou d) 

This you (hould pitty,rather thendefpife* 

Her,\ vnderftandnot what you meane by this. 
HelA^ do,pcrfeuer,counterfeit fad lookes. 

Make mouthes vpon me when 1 turnc my backe, 

E 3 Winke 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

Winkc each at other,holcl the fwcetc ieafl vp ; 
This rport well carricd»(hall be chronicled. 
IF you haue any pitty, gracc,or manners^ 
You would not maicc mefuch an argument. 
But faryewelljtis partly mine ownc fault. 
Which death or abfence foone fhall renncdy, 

Ljf, Suy gcnile Helefia^ht^xz, my cxcufe. 
My loue,my life, my foule/aire Helena, 

//^/.O excellent 1 

i/fr.Swccte,do not fcorne her fo. 

DemM fhc cannot entrcatc,! can compel!. 

Lyf, Thow canft compell, no more then (he entreate. 
Thy threats hauc no more ftrength then her weake praifc. 
Helen J. loue thee,by my life 1 doe ; 
T fwcare by that which I will lofe for thee. 
To proue him falfe,that faics I loue thee not. 

DemA fay,I loue thee more then he can do. 

£.7/ If thou fay fo,with-dra\v and proue it to. 

Dem, Quick^come, 

Her, Ly f under jVihtxtio tends all this ? 

Lyf, A way, you Ethiope, 

Bern, No,no,hec*l fecme to breakc loofc ; 
Take on as you would follow. 
But yet come not t you arc a latne man,go, 

X/yTHangoffthou cat,ihou bur; vile thing let loofe. 
Or I will fhake thee from me like a ferpent» 

Htfr, Why are you growne fo rude ? 
VVhat change is this,fwcete Loue^ 

Lyf. Thy loue ? out tawny Tartar, out ; 
Out loathed medicine ; 6 hated poifon hence. 

Her^Do you not ieaft ? 

HeL Yes footh,and fo do you* 

Lyf, Demetrius, \ will kcepe my word with thee, 

DemA would I had your bond ; for I perceiue, 
A weake bond holds you 5 11c not iruft your word. 

A Midfommernights Dreame. 

tyf. VVhat^fliould I hurc hcr^ftrikc her,kili her dead ? 
Although 1 hate her lie not harme her fo. 

//cr,V Vhat ^ can you do me greater harme then hate ? 
Hate me^whercfore ? O me, what ne wes my Louc t 
Am not I Hermia ? Are not you Ly fonder ? 
I am as fairc now,as I was ere while. 
Since night you lou'd me ; yet fince night you left me. 
Why then you left me (6 the gods forbid ) 
In carncft,fhall 1 fay ? 

LyfA jhy my hfc; 
Andneucr did dcfire to fee thee more. 
Therefore be out of hope,of qucRion,of doubt ; 
Be certaine ; nothing truer ; tis no ieaft, 
That I do hate thcc,and loue Helena, 

Her.O me,you iugglcr,you canker bloflbme, 
You thecfe of loue ; whac.hauc you come by night. 
And ftolne my loues heart from him ? 

Hauc you no modefty,no maiden fhame, 
No touch of bafhfulncflc ^ What,wili you tearc 
Impatient anfwers from my gentle tongue? 
Fie,fie,you counierfct,you puppet,you. 

//^.Puppet ? why fo ? l,that way goes the game. 
Now Iperceiue that fhehathmadc compare 
Betweeneour ftaiuresj{he hath vrg'd her height^ 
And with her perfonagc,her call parfonage. 
Her height (forfooih ) llie hath preuaild wiih him. 
And arc you growne fo high in his cflecme^ 
Becaufc 1 am fo dwarfifl'i and fo low ? 
How low am I, thou painted May-pole / Speaks, 
How low am I > I am not yet fo low. 
But that my nailcs can reach vnio thine eyes, 

HeLl pray yoa though you mockc nic,gcntknicn. 
Let her not hurt me ; I was neucr curh : 
Ihaue no gin at ail in fhrewifhneffe: 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

1 am aright maid for my cowardize ; 
Lcc her not ftrike me : you perhaps may thinke, 
Bccaufeflie is fomething lower then my fclfc, 
That I can match hcr# 

//ipr4Lower? harkeagaine. 

HeLGood Hermia^do not be fo bitter with mc, 
I cuermore did loue you Hermia^ 
Did euer keepe your counfels^neuer wronged you, 
Saue that in loue vnto Demetrius^ 
I told him ofyour (leahh vnto this wood. 
He followed you,for loue I followed him, 
But he hath chid me hence^and threatned me 
To flrike me.fpurne me,nay to kill me to; 
And nowjfo you will let me quiet goe. 
To Athens will I bearc my folly backc, 
And follow you no further, Let me go. 
You fee how fimpie,and how fond I am. 

iJi?r.Why get you gone ; who ift that hinders you ? 

HeLK foolifh heart,that I Icaue heere behinde. 

/f<?r.VVhat,with Lyfander} 

H^/.With Demetrm, 

LjfBc not afraid,flie fhall not harme thee Helena, 

Dem.No drftie fhall not,though you take her part. 

HeLO when fhee*s angry ,fhe iskeene and (hrewd. 
She was a vixen when fhe went to fchoole^ 
And though (he be but little,flie is fierce. 

Her. LittU agalne f Nothing but low and little? 
Why will you fuffer her to flout me thus ? 
Let me come to her. 

Lyf Gti you gone you d warfc, 
Youmi»mfUyo( hindring knot graffemadc. 
You bead,you acorne. 

You are too officious. 
In her behalfc that fcornes your feruices. 
Let her alone/peake not oi Helena^ 



A Midfommer nights Dreamc 

Take not her part.For if thou doft intend 
Ncuer To little fhew of louc to her. 
Thou (halt abie it. 

Zy/Now fhe holds mcnot. 
Now follow if thou dar*ft,to try whofc right. 
Of thine or mine/is moft in Helena. (Exit. 
Di*/w,Follow ? Nay,Ile go with thee chcekc by iowle. 

Her .You Mifl:re{fc,all this coylc is long of you. 
Nay,goe not backc. 

Hell will not truft you I, 
Not longer ftay in your curft company. 
Your hands than minc,are quicker for a fray. 
My legs are longer though to runne away. 
Her. I am amaz*d,and know not what to fay. £xeunt, 

O^.This is thy negligence,ftill thou mittak'ft. 
Or elfe commit'ft thy knaucrics wilfully, 

/>f«ri^Beleeue me,King of fhaddowes,! miftookc. 
Did not you tell mc,l fhould know the man. 
By the Athenian garments he hath on ? 
And fo farre blamelefTc proues my entcrprize. 
That I haue nointed an Athenians eyes, 
And fo farre am I gladjt fo did fort. 
As this their iangling 1 efteemc a fporc. 

O^.Thou feeft thefc Louers feeke a place to fight. 
Hie therefore /?<7^/»,ouercaft the night. 
The ftarry Welkin couer thou anon. 
With drooping fogge as blacke as Acheron^ 
And leade thefe tefty Riuals fo aftray. 
As one come not within anothers way. 
Like to Ljftnder, (omcximc frame thy tongue. 
Then ftirre Demetrim vp with bitter wrong ; 
And fometime rai le thou like Demetrim ; 
And from each other looke thou leade them thug. 
Till ore their browes^death-countcrfeiting, fleepe 
With leaden lcdgs,and Batty wings doth crecpe 5 

F Then 

A Mldfommer nights Dreame. 

Then crufti this hearbc into Lyfanders cie, 
Whofe liquor hath this vcrtuous property. 
To take from thence all error,with his might. 
And make his eie-bals rolle with wonted fight. 
When they next wake, all this derifion 
Shall feemc a drcame^and fruitleffc vifion. 
And backe to Athens (hall the Loucrs wend 
With lea gue,whofe date till death fhall neuer end . 
Whiles 1 in this affaire do thee apply, 
lie to my Quccnc,and beg her Indian boy ; 
And then I will her charmed eic rcleafe 
Frommonftcrs view,and all things ftiall be peace. 

Puck,Uy Fairie Lord,this muft be done with hafte. 
For night fwift Dragons cut the Clouds full faft. 
And yonder fliincs Anroras harbinger; 
At whofe approch,Gbofts wandring heere and there, 
Troopc home to Church-vards 5 damned fpirits all. 
That in croffe waies and fiouds banc buriall. 
Already to their wormy beds are gone ; 
For feare Icaft day ftould looke their fliamcs vpon. 
They wilfully themfelues exile from light. 
And muft for aie confort with blacke browd night. 

O^.But we are fpirits of another fort 
I,with the mornings loue haue^>ftmadcfport. 
And like a Forreftcr,the groues may tread^ 
Eucn till theEafterne gate all fiery red, 
Opening on Neptune^vfith faire bleffed beames, 
Tumes into yellow gold,his fait greene ftreamcs. 
But notwithftanding hafte,makc no delay, 
We may cffecSV this bufineffcjyet ere day. 

PuckjVp and downe,vp and downe, I will leadc them vp 
& downe/ 1 am fcatd in held and townc. Goi^/in, lead them 
vp and downe : here comes one. Enter Lyfander. 

LyfWhtxt art thou,proud T)entetrim f Speak thou now. 

RolfHw Yillaine,drawnc and ready. Where art thou ? 

A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

l,jf,\ will be wiih thcc ftraight. 

J^oi^Follow mc then to plainer ground. 
Enter Demetrius, 

Deme. LyfanderSpczke againc ; 
Thou runaway, thou coward, art thou fled ? 
Speake in fomc bufli.Wherc doft thou hide thy head ? 

Roifjhou coward,art thou bragging to the ftars. 
Telling the bufhcs that thou look'ft for warres. 
And wilt not come ? Come recreant,comc thou childc. 
He whip thee with a rod. He is defil'd 
That drawcs a fword on thee. 

Deme,YcA,zn thou there i 
Ro.Voliovj my voicc,wec*l try no manhood here. Exeunt, 

LjfMc goes before mc,and ftill dares me on. 
When I come where he callcs,then hee's gone. 
The villaine is much li ghter heel'd then I ; 
I followed faftjbut fafter he did flie ; 
That fallen am I in darke vncuen way. 
And here will reft me.Comc thou gentle day : 
For if but once thou fhew me thy gray light, 
lie finde Demetr ins y^nd rcuenge this fpight. 
T^^/w and Demetrius. 

Ro^Moy ho,ho ; coward, why comOt thou not i 

Berne, kh\dt me,if thou dar'ft.For well I wot. 
Thou tunft before me,fhifting euery place. 
And dar*ft not ftand,nor lookc roe in the face. 
Where art thou? 

ie<>^,Come hither,! am here. 
D^.Nay then thou mockft me ; thou (halt buy this deare. 
If eucr I thy face by day -light fee. 
Now goe thy way : faintneffe conftraineth me, 
To meafure out my length on this cold bed. 
By daies approch looke to be vifited^ 
Snter Helena. 

HeLO weary night, 6 long and tedious night, 

F 1 Abate 

A ivAiuiummcr nignts Ureamc, 

Abate thy houres,{hine comforts from the eaft 
That I may backe to Athens by day-Iight, * 
From thefe that my poore company deteft ; 
And flcepe that fometimes fhuts vp forrowes cic 
Steale me a while from mine owne company ' Sleifti>» 
/!.^.Yctbutthree^Comeonemore; ^ 
Two of both kindes makes vp foure. * 
Here iTie comes,curft and fad 

r^/V/isaknaui(hIad Snter Hcrmia. 

Thus to make poore females mad. 

//>r.Neuer fo wcary,neuer fo in woe. 
Bedabbled with the clew,and tome with briars 
I can no further crawlc,no further goe ; * 
My legs can keepe no pace with my defires. 
Here will I reft me till the breake of day, 
Heauens fhield Lyfa^der.ihhQymeztie^ftzy. 

Roh.Ot\ the ground fleepe found, 
lie apply your eye gentle louer,remedy. 
When thou wak'ft,thou tak'ft 
True delight in the fight of thy former Ladies eie. 
And the Country Prouerbe knowne. 
That cuery man fliould take his owne. 
In your waking (hall be fliownc. 
/M^fhall haue ////^nought (hall go ill. 
The man fliall haue his Mare againc,and all fliall be wclU 
Enter Queeneof Fairies, and Clowne^andFasries, and the 
King behinde them^ 

Tita. Come fit thee downe vpon this fiowry bed, 
While I thy amiable cheekes do coy. 
And fticke muske rofes in thy Heeke fmoothe head. 
And kifle thy faire large eares, my gentle ioy. 

C^owne.Whercs PeafeMjfome > 

Peaf, Ready. 

CW^.Scratch my hezd^PeafeMoffonte. Wher's Moun- 
iny^xCoM^ CV^.Rcady. 

IV. i 

AMidfommers niffhts Dreame. 

C/^.Mounficur Cobweb y goooMounficur get your wea- 
pons in your hand, and kill me a red hipt humble-bee, on 
the top of a chicle ; and good Mounfieur bring me the bo- 
ny bag. Doc not fret your felfe too much in the a6lion, 
Mounfieur ; and good MounHeur haue a care the hony bag 
breake not, I would be loth to haue you ouerflowne with a 
hony-bag figniour .Where's Mounfieur LMnfiardfied ? 


C/(?»Giuc me your ncafe,Mounfieur Mufiardfeed. 
Pray you leaueyour courtefie,good Mounfieur. 
What's your wil ? 
Clo, Nothing good Mounfieur, but to helpe Caualery 
Cohfeb to fcratch* 1 muft to the Barbers Mounfieur, for 
me-thinkes I am maruailous hairy about the face. And I 
am fuch a tender afTc, if my haire do but ti ckle me, I muft 

71ff4.What,wilt thou heare fomc fome mufick, my fwect 

Clownel haue a reafonable good eare in muficke. Let vs 
haue the tongs and the bones. 

7Vr4.0rfay fweete Loue,what thou dcfireft to eate. 
Cfojy.Truelyapeckeofprouender; I could mounch your 
good dry Oates. Me-tbinkcs I haue a great defire to a bot- 
3e of hay : good hay, fweete hay hath no feliow» 

Tita, I haue a venturous Fairy, 
That (hall feeke the fquirrels hoard. 
And fetch thee new Nuts, 

Cio,\ had rather haue a handfull or two of dried pcafe. 
But I pray you let none of your people ftir me,l haue an ex- 
pofitionor fleepe come vpon me. 

7)^4.Sleepc thousand I will winde thee m my armcs. 
Fairies be gone,and be alwaies away# 
So doth the woodbine,the fweete Honifuckle, 
Gently en^wift 5 the female Tuy fo 
Eatings the barky fingers of the Elme. 

A Midlommer nights Dreame, 

Ohow I louc thee I how I dote on thee ! 

Snter Robinaoodfellow, 
O^, Welcome good Robin : feeft thou this fwcct fights 
Her dotage now 1 do begin to pitty. 
For meeting her of late bchinde the wood. 
Seeking fwcete fauors for this hatefull foole, 
I did vpbraid her, and fall out with her. 
por flic his hairy temples then had rounded. 
With coronet of frcfti and fragrant flowers. 
And that fame dew Which fomtimeon the buds, 
VVas wont to fwell like round & orient pearles ; 
Stood now within the pretty flouriets eies, 
Liketearcs that did their owne difgrace bcwailc. 
When I had at my plcafure taunted her. 
And (he in milde tcarmes bcgd my patience, 
I then did aske of her, her changeling childe. 
Which ftraight (he gaue me,andher Fairy fent 
To beare him to my Bower in Fairy Land. 
And now I haue the boy ,1 will vndoe 
This hateRjU imperfe6lion of her eies. 
And gentle Puckf^ take this transformed fcalpe. 
From oflf the head of this Athenian fwaine; 
That he awaking when the other do. 
May all to nyithens backe againc rcpaire. 
And thinke no more of this nights accidents, 
But as the fierce vexation of a dreamer 
But firft I will releafe the Fairy Q^cene. 

Be as thoti wafi wont toBe% 

See as thou wafi vpont to fee, 

'Dians Btid^or [tipds Roxver ^ 

Hath fuch force and bleffedfower^ 
Now my Titania wake y ou,my fweetc Quccnc. 

TftaMy 0^^tf»,what vifions haue I fcene ! 
Mc-thought I was enamored of an A{fc. 
O^.Thcre lies your louc. 

AMidfommers nights Dreame. 

TV'M.How came thcfe things to paffe ? 
Oh,how mine eics doth loathe this vifagc now ! 

O^.Silcnce a whilc.i?<?^/» take of this head ; 
7V^4«/V«,muficke call,and ftrike more dead 
Then common fleepe; of all thefe, fine the fcnfe. 
r/M.Mufickc,ho mufickc/uch as charmcth fleepe. 
1^(7^. When thou wak'ft,with thine owne foolcs eics peep. 
O^.Sound mufick; come my Queen, take hands withmc 
And rocke the ground whereon thefe fleepers be. 
Now thou and I arc new in amity, 
And will to morrow midnight,foIemnIy 
Dance in D ukc Thefew houfc triumphantly, 
And blelfe it to all faire poftcriiy. 
There fliall the paires of faithful! Louers be 

V VcddcdjWith ThefemM\ in ioUity. 

Fairy King,aiicnd and markc, 
I do hcarc the morning Larkc, 

Oi&.Then niy Queene in filencc (ad. 
Trip we after the nights fhade ; 

V Vc the Globe can compaffc foonc. 
Swifter then the wandring Moone. 

Tita,Com^ my Lord,and in our flight. 
Tell me how it came this night. 
That I fleeping heerc was founds 

With thefe mortals on the ground. ExetirtK 
Enter Thfeus and all his traine* PFtndt horniSm 

Thef, Goc one of you,findc out the Forrcfter, 
For now our obferuation is perforro'd ; 
And (ince we hauc the vaward of the day, 
My Loue fliall heare the muficke of my hounds. 
Vncouple in the V Vcftcrne valley^let them go ; 
Difpatch 1 fay,and finde theForrefter. 
VVe will faire Quecnc,vp to the Mountaines top, 
And marke the muficall confufion 
Of hounds and eccho in coniun£tion« 

A Midfommer nights Dreame 

Hip A was with Hercules and Cadmm once 
When in a wood of Qreete they bayed thcBearc 
With hounds of Sparta \ neucr did I heare 
Such gallant chiding,For befides the groues, 
The skies,the fountaincs,euery region ncere 
Seeme all one mutuall cry J neuer heard 
So muficall a difcord^fuch fweete thunder. 

ThefMy hounds are bred out of the Spartan kindc 
So flew*d,fo fauded.and their heads arc hung ' 
With earcs that fweepe away the morning dew, 
Crooke kneed,and dew-lapt,like Thejfalian Buls, 
Slow inpurfuite.but matchtin mouth like bels. 
Each vnder each. A cry more tuneable 
Was neuer hoUowd to,nor cheer'd with home, 
III Creeteym Sparta^ nor in Theffaly ; 
ludgc when you hearc.But foft,what nimphs arethcfe? 

EgemMy Lord,this is my daughter hccreaflcepe. 
And this Ly fonder ythh Demetrius is. 
This Helena,oidit Nedars Helena^ 
I wonder of this being hcere together* 

T^^.Mo doubt they rofc vp carly,to obferue 
The right of May ; and hearing our intent. 
Came heere in grace of our folemnity. 
But fpeake Egem^xi not this the day 
That Hermia fliould giue anfwer of her choyfe f 

SgettsAi is, my Lord. 

Tfe.Gobid the huntfmen wake them with their homes. 

Shout within^they allfiart vp.Windehornes, 
Thef.Good morrow friends : Saint Valentine is paft. 
Begin thefe wood birds but to couple now ? 

Lyr.Pardon^my Lord. 

ThefApv2iy you all ftand vp. 
I know you two are Riuali enemies. 
How comes this gentle concord in the world. 
That hatred is fo tarre from iealoufic. 

A Midfommer nights Dream e. 

To fleepe by hace,and fcare no enmity, 

Lyf.My Lord,I (hall reply amazcdly, 
Halfe fleepchalfe waking.But as ycc, I fwcare, 
I cannot trucly fay how I came here. 
But as I thinke (for truely would I fpcake) 
And now I do bethinke me, fo it is ; 
I came with Hermia hither.Our intent 
Was to be gone from Athens, where we might be 
Without the perill of the Athenian Law. 

E^<f.Enough,enough my Lord : you hauc enough ; 
1 beg the Law,the Law,vpon his head r 
They would haue ftolne away, they would,Dfi»ffr/w, 
Thereby to haue defeated you and me : 
You of your wife,and me of my confcnt ; 
Of my confent.that (he (hould be your wife. 

DemMy Lord,fairc Helen told me of their (health. 
Of this their purpofe hithcr,to this wood. 
And I in fury hither followed chera ; 
Fairc Helena,\n fancy followed me. 
But my good Lord, I wot not by what power 
(But by fome power it is) my loue 
To Hermia (melted as the fnow) 
Seemes to me now as the remembrance of an idle gaudc. 
Which in my childehood I did dote vpon : 
And all the faith.the vercue of my heart. 
The obie£l and the pleafurc of mine cic. 
Is onely Helena.To her, my Lord, 
Was I bethroth*d,ere I fee Hermia^ 
But like a ficknefTcjdid I loathe this food. 
But asin health,come to ray naturall tafte. 
Now do I wifh it,loue it,long for it. 
And will for euermorebc true to it. 

ThefBme Louers^you are fortunately met 5 
Of this difcourfe,we will heare more anon* 
Egefu, I will ouerbear e your will ; 

A Midfomtner nights Dreame. 

For in theTcmpIe,by and by with vs, 

Thcfe couples (hall eternally be knit. 

And for the morning now is fomething wornc. 

Our purposed hunting (hall be fet afide. 

Away, with vs to • three and three. 

Wee 1 hold a feafl: in great folemnity. 

Come Hlffoliu. Sxit. 

Deme, Thefc things feeme fmall and vndiftinguiJhable, 
Like farre off mountaines turned into Clouds. 

//#r,Me thinks I fee thefe things with parted eie. 
When cuery thing feemes double. 

MetSo me-thinkes : 
And I haue found 7)m^m'«f,lik€ a lewell. 
Mine owne,andnot mine owne« 

That we are awake ,f It feemes to me» 
That yet we flccpe,we dreame.Do not you thinke. 
The Duke was heere,and bid vs follow him t 

ffer.Ye2L^ and my Father* 

Hel, And Hippolita. 

Ljff.hnd he bid vs follow to the Temple. 

Dm. Why then we are awake ; let's follow him^and by 
the way let vs recount our dreames. Exit. 

C/?. When my cue me,and I will anfwer. My 
next is,moft faire PtrawftsMcy ho. Peter Quince ? Flute the 
bellowes-mendcr ? Snout the tinker? Starueling i Gods my 
life 1 Stolne hence, and left me afleepe .* I haue had a mod 
rare vifion.I haue had a dreamcpaft the wit of man, to fay, 
what dreame it was. Man is but an Aflcjif he go about to 
expound this dreame, Me-thought I was, there is no man 
can tell what. Me-thought I was, and me-thought I had. 
But man is but patcht a foole,if he will offer to Sy, what 
me-thought I had. The eie of man hath not heard,ihe earc 
of man hath not feene, mans hand is not able to tafte, his 
tongue to conceiue,nor his heart to report,what my dream 


IV. i. 

A Midfommer nights Dream e. 

was, 1 will get Peter Quince to write a Ballet of this dream, 
it (hall be calPd IBottomes Dreame, becaufe it hath no hot* 
tome; andlwillfingit in the latter end ofa play, before 
the Duke. Peraduenture,to make it the more gracious, I 
{hall fing it at her death. Exit. 

Snter Quince ^ Flute ^Thishie^ and the rahhle. 
.^^'^.Haue you fent to Bottomes houfe ? Is he come home 

Fiute.Hc cannot be heard of. Out of doubt hee is tranf- 

ThifM he come not, then the play is mard. It goes not 
forward , doth it ^ 

Quin. It is not pofliblc : you haue not a man in ail 
thetfs.Mt to difcharge Piramusbut he. 

Ttif, Nojhehath hmply the bcft wit ofanyhandy-craft 
man xvi- Athene. 

Yea, and the beftpcrfon too,and he is a very Para- 
mour,for a fwectc voycc^ 

Thif, You muft fay,Paragon, A Paramour is (God blefle 
vs) a thing of nought. 

Snter Snug the loyner. 

Snug* Mafters,the Duke is comming from the Temple, 
and there is two or three Lords and Ladies more married* 
If our fport had gone forward,we had all beene made men. 

Thif.O fweetc bully 'Bottome : thus hath he loft (ixpcnce 
aday,duringhislife; he could not haue fcaped (ixpcncca 
day. And the Duke had not giuen him tixpence a day for 
playing Piramwylh be hang'd! He would haue dcferucd 
it,Sixpence a day in Piramw,ot nothing. 

Snter 'Bottome. 
Ptff. Where are thefe Lads i Where are thefe hearts f 
Quin. Bottome J 6 moft couragious day 1 O moft happy 
houre ! 

G 1 Bot. 

A Midfommer nights Dreame, 

Bat. Matters, I am to difcourfe wonders ; but aske mce 
not what.For if I tell you, I am not true Atheniatt.l will tcl 
you euery thing right as it fell out. 

OnjitXtt vs heare/wcete Bottome. 

Bot. Not a word of me: all that I will tell you,is, that 
the Duke hath dined. Getyourapparcll together, good 
ftrings to your beards,new ribbands to your pumps,meete 
prefently at the Palace, euerie man iookc ore his part : for 
the fhort and the long is,our play is preferd. In any cafe let 
Thuby haue clcane linncn : and let not him that plaies the 
Lion,pairehisnailes, for they (hall hangout for the Lions 
clawes. And moft deare Actors, cate no Onions, nor Gar- 
licke ; for we are to vttcr fweete breath,and I do not doubt 
but to heare them fay, it is a fweete Comedy. No more 
words : away,go away. 

Enter Thefins, Hipfolita^ and Fhilofirate. 

Hip. Tis ftrange my Thefeiu^thT^t thefe louers fpeake of. 

TheMoxe ftrange then true.I neucr may bclceue 
Thefe anticke fables,nor thefe Fairy toies, 
Louers and mad men haue fuch feething braines. 
Such fhaping phantafics,that apprehend more 
Then coolereafon euer comprehends. 
The Lunaticke,the Louer,and the Poet, 
Are of imagination all compadi:. 
One fees more diuels then vafte hell can hold ; 
That is the mad man.The Louer,all as frantickc. 
Sees Helens beauty in a brow of Sgipt. 
The Poets eie in a fine frenzy rolling,doth glance 
Fromheauen to earth,from earth to heauen. 
And as imagination bodies forth the formes of things 
Vnkno wne ; the Poets pen tumes them to (hapcs. 
And giues to airy nothing,a locall habitation. 
And aname.Such trickes haihftrong imagination. 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

That if it would but apprehend fome ioy, 
It comprehends fome bringer of that ioy. 
Or in the night,imagining fome feare. 
How eafie is abufhfuppos'd a Beare? 

A///>.But all the ftory of the night told ouer. 
And all their mindes transfigur'dfo together. 
More witneflcth than fancies images. 
And growcs to fomething of great conftancy ; 
But howfoeucr,ftrange and admirable. 

Snter loners : Lyfander^ Demetriw, Hermia^and Helena^, 
Thef Here come the louers,full of ioy and mirth : 
Ioy, gentle friends, ioy and frefti daies 
Of louc accompany your hearts. 

Ljf» More then to vs,waite in your roiallwalkcs, your 
boord^your bed. 

Thejl Come now, what maskes, what dances (hall wee 

To weare away this long age of three hourcs, 
Bctwcenc or after fuppcr, and bed-time ? 
Where is our vfuall manager of mirth ? 
What Reuels are in hand ? Is there no play, 
To eafe the anguifh of a torturing houre ? 
Call Phihftrate. 

Philo. Heere mighty Thefew, 

T^<r/!Say,what abridgment hauc you for this cucning ^ 
What maske^what muficke ? how fhall we beguile 
TThe lazie time,ifnot with fome dcHght ? 

P^/7,Thcre is a briete,how many Iports are rife. 
Make choifc of which your HighnciTe will fee firfl. 

Thef, The battell with the Centatirs to be fung 
By an AtheniaTi Eunuch,to the Harpe. 
Wce'I none ot that.That haue I tolde my Loue, 
In glory of my kinfman Hercnks^ 
The hot of the tipfie BachmaL-, 

G 5 Tea- 


A Midfommer nights Drcame. 

Tearing the Thracian finger,in their rage ? 

That is an olde dcuice ; and it was plaid. 

When I from Thihes came laft a Conqueror. 

The thrice three Mures,mourning for the death 

Of learning,Iate deceaft in beggcry. 

That is fomc Satire keene and critical!, 

Not forting with a nuptiall ceremony. 

A tedious bfiefc Scene of young Piramus, 

And his Louc Thtsby ; very tragicall mirth ? 

Merry and tragicall ? Tedious and bricfc ? That is hot Ice 

And wondrous ftrangc Snow. How fhail we finde the con' 

cord of this difcord i 

l^^"^^ **>"'y Lord/ome ten words long. 
Which IS as briefc, as I hauc knowne a play • 
But by ten words,my Lord,it is too long ; 
Which makes it tedious.For in all the play^ 
There is not one word apt,onc plaier fitted^ 
And tragicaH,my noble Lord,it is : for Piramm 
Therein doth kill him felfe. Which when I faw 
RchcarftJ muft.confeflfe, made mine eies water ; 
But more merry tcarcs thcpaffion of loud laughter 
Neuer fhed. 

r^y: What are they that do play it ? 

PhiioMzT^ handedinen,that worke in AthenshM. 
Which neuer laboured in their mindes till now ; 
And now haue toylcd their vnbreathed memories, 
With this fameplay,againft your nuptiall. 
Thef^Kn^ we will heare ic. 

7A/;No,my noble Lord,it is not for you.I haue heard 
It oucr,and u is nothing,nothing in the world ; 
Vnlcflcyou Qan finde fport in their intents, 
Extremely aretcht,and cond wilh cruell paine, 

rhef^ will heare that play .For neuer any thing 
Can be amiffc,whcn fimplcneffc aod duty tender it. 


A Midfommcr nights Dreame* 

Got bring them in,axid take your placcs,Laclies. 

fjip,l loucnot to fee wrctchedneflc ©recharged 5 
And ducty in his fcruicc pcrifhing. 

Thef Why gentle fwcetc^you (hall fee no fuch thing. 

Hip. He faics, they can do nothing in this kinde. 

TAr.Thc kinder we,to giue them thanks for nothing. 
Our fport fhall bc,to take what they miftakc 
And what poorc duty cannot do,noble refpedt 
Takes it in might^noc merit. 
Where 1 hauc come,great Clearkcs hauepurpofed 
To grcete mc with premeditated welcomes ; 
Where I haue fcene them (hiuer and looke pale. 
Make periods in the midft of feniences. 
Throttle their pra6liz*d accent in their fcares, 
And in concluMon,dumbly haue broke off. 
Not paying me a wclcome.Truft me fweete. 
Out of this filence yet,I pickt a welcome : 
And in the modefty of fearcfull duty, 
I read as much,as from the ratling tongue 
Of faucy and audacious eloquence. 
Loue therefore,and tongue-tide fimplicity, 
Inleaft,fpeakemoft,to my capacity. 

Philo.So plcafc your Grace^the Prologue is addrcft. 

Dftl^.Ltt him approach. 

Enter the Prologue, 

Pro, If we offend, it is with our good will. 
That you (hould thinkc,we come not to offend. 
But with good will. To ftiew our fimple skill. 
Thai is the true beginning of our end. 
Confidcr then, we come but in defpight. 
We do not come,as minding to content you. 
Our true intent is. All for your delight, 
V Ve are not heere.That you (hould here repent you, 
The A6^ors are at hand ; and by their fliow. 
You fhall know all^ihat you are like to know. 




A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

ThefJ!h\s fellow doth not ftand vpon points. 

Lyf. He hath rid his Prologue, like a rough Colt : hec 
knowes not the ft op* A good morall my Lord! It is not c- 
nough to rpeake.but to fpeake true. 

fijp. Indeed he hath plaid on this Prologue, like a childe 
on a Recorder,a found^but not in gouernment. 

ThefM\s fpeech was like a tangled chainc ; nothing im- 
paired,but all difordcred. Who is next ? 

Enter Tyramtu and Thu^y^mtH, Adoofte'/hweyond Lyon, 
'Prologue. Gentles, perchance you wonder at this (hovf, ns 

But wonder on,till truth make all things plaine* 

This man is Piramus^i^ you would know ; 

This bcautious Lsidy^isfy is ccrtainc. 

This man with lyme and roughcaft, doth prefenc ij2 

Wall.that vile wall, which did thefe louers fundcr ; 

And through wals chinke(poore foulcs) they are content 

To whifper.At the which, let no man wonder. 

This man^with Lanthorne,dogtand bu(h of thornei jj6 

Prcfenteth moone-ihine.For if you will know, 

Bymoone-fhine did thefe Louers thinkeno fcorne 

To meete at N'intes toombe,therc,therc to wooe : 

This grixly beaft (which Lyon higbt by name) 140 

The trufty Thisbyy commingfirft by night. 

Did fcarre away,or rather did affright : 

And as (he fted,her mantle (he did Tall ; 

Which Lion vile with bloody mouth did ftaine. 7^ 

Anon comes ?ir4w«;r,fweete youth and tall. 

And findcs his trufty Thisbies Mantle flaine ; 

WhcreatjWith blade,with bloody blamcfuU blade. 

He brauely broacht his boiling bloody breaft, 148 

And 71^»^',tarrying in Mulberry ftiadc, 

His dagger drew.and died. For all the reft. 

Let Lj/on^ LMoone-Jhine^ W«//,and Louers twaine. 

At large difcourfe^while here they do remaine. 752 


A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

Thef, I wonder if the Lyon be to fpeakc. 
Deme.No wonder,my Lord; one Lion may when many 

Exit Lyon, ThUhy, and, Moonc-^ine, 
irW/.In this fame Interlude it doth befall. 

That I,one Vlute (by name) prefent a wall : 

And fuch a wall,as I would haue you thinke, 

That had in it a crannied hole or chinke : 

Through which the howtis, PirAmus and Thishy^ 

Did whifper often,very fecretly. 

This lome,this roughcaft, and this ftone doth ftiow. 

That 1 am that fame wall i the truth is fo. 

And this the cranny is>right and finifler. 

Through which thefearcfull Loucrs are to whifper. 
Thef, Would you defire lime and haire to fpeak better 
Deme, It is the wittieft partition, that cuer I heard dif- 

courfe,my Lord. 

Thef, Pirami4S dv2ivfcs neerethe wall,(ilence, 
P/r«0 grim lookt night,6 night with hue fo biacke, 

O night, which euer art,when day is not : 

0 night, 6 nighc,alackc,alackc,alacke, 

1 fearc my T/&/.f^rWpromife is forgot. 
And thou 6 wall, 6 fweete.o louely wall. 

That ftandsbetweene her Fathers ground and mine. 

Thou wall, 6 wall,6 fweete and louely wall, 

Shew me thy chinkc,to blink through with mine eine. 

Thanks courteous wall. loue fhield thee well for this. 

But what fee I ? No Thhify do I fee. 

O wicked wall,through whom I fee no bliffe, 

Curft be thy ftoncs,for thus deceiuing me. 

Tbef, The wall me-thinks being fcnfible,fliould curfc a- 

P/r.No in truth fir,he fliould not. Dece/uing me. 
Is Thishies cue ; (he is to enter now,and I am to fpy 
Her through the wall. You (hall fee it will fall 

H Pat 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

pat as I told you ; yonder Cic comes. Enter Thishc* 
Thif. O wall, full often haft thou heard my moncs 

For parting my fairc PtramM,znd me. * 

My cherry lips hauc often kift thy ftoncs ; 

Thy ftoncs with lime and hairc knit now againe. 
P/ra, I fee a voice ; now will I to the chinke. 

To fpy and I can hcarc my Thisbies face. Thisi>j } 
fhtfMy Loue thou art,my Loue I thinkc, 
Pir.Thinke what thou wilt,I am thy Louers grace^ 

And like Limanderj^m I trufty ftill, * 
Tbif.And I like Helen,i\\\ the fates me kill. 
P#r.Not Shafa/w to Procrfff,yjas Co true, 
Thif As Shafalfts to Trocrus^l to you, 
T/r.O kiffe me through the hole of this vile wall. 
Th/fl kiffe the wals hole,not your lips at all. 
P/V. Wilt thou at Ninnies toomb meetc me ftraightway } 
ThifTiAt life,tide death,! come without delay, 
WalLlhws haue I H^att,my part difchargcd foj 

And being done,thusir4//away doth goc. 
P»«Now is the Moon vfed betweene the two neighbors. 
Deme^Ho remcdy,my Lord, when wals arc fo wilfull, to 

hcare without warning. 

Dtitch.lhXs is the fillicft ftuffe that ere I heard. 
D^i^.The beft in this kindc are but ftiadowcs, and the 

worft are no worfc,if imagination amend them. 
DutehM muft be your imagination then,and not theirs. 
D^tf.Ifwee imagine no worfe of them then they of them- 

felues,they may paflc for excellent men. Heerc come two 

noble beafts, in a man and a Lyon. 

Enter Lyon 4nd iMoone-Jhine, 
Lyon.YovL Ladies, you (whofe gentle hearts do fearc 

The fmalleft monftrous moufe that crcepes on floore) 

May now perchance,both quake and tremble heerc. 

When Lyon rough,in wildcft rage doth roarc. 

Then know that l,^sSnu^ theioyner am 


A Midfommcr nights Dreamc. 

A Lyon fell,nor clfe no Lyons damme. 
For if I fliould^as Lyon come in ftrifc. 
Into this placc,t were pitty on my lifc# 

Duke, A very gentle bcaft.and of a good confcicncc. 

D^/wf .The very bcft at a beaft,my Lord,that ere I faw# 

Ljf.TUis Lyon is a very Fox for his valour, 

^»(^,Truc,and aGoofc for his difcrction, 

Dr.Not fo my Lord.For his valour cannot carry his di{^ 
cretion ; and the Fox carries the goofe. 

Dfiks. His difcretion I am fure cannot carry his valour. 
For the Goofe carries not the Fox.It is well ; Icaue it to his 
difcretion,and let vs hearkeii to the Moone. 

THooH.Th'xs lanthornc doth the horned Moone prefcnt. 

DemeMe ftiould haue wornc the homes on his head. 

Duf^He is no crcfccnt,and his homes arc inuifible.with. 
in the circumference, 

l^aorn. This lanthornc doth the horned Moone prefcnt. 
My felfe,thc man ith'Moonc do feeme to be. 

DH\e. This is the grcatcft error of all the reft ; the man 
fhould be put into the Laniborac. How is it dfc the man 
i*th Moone ? 

D«».Hc dares not come there for the candle. 
For you fec,it is already in fnuffe. (change. 
Dntcb,! am weary of this Moone ; would he would 
Di%.It appearcs oy his fmall light of difcretion, that hcc 
is in the wane : but yet in curtcfic,in all reafon,we muft ftay 
the time* 

Lyfand, Proceed Moone. 

Moone.KW that I haue to fay,is to tell you,that the Lan- 
thornc is the Moone ; I,the man in the Moone , this thomc 
bufli,my thornebu(h,and thisdog,my dog. 

Deme, WhyallthcfefhouldbecinthcLanihorac: for 
they are in the Moone* But (ilencc>heere comes 7h$sfy» 
€»ter Thisty* 

2*A.Thi$ is old Ninies toomb : whcr's my louc ? ^0«.Oh 

H 2 Dem^ 


A Midfommer nights Dreame. 

'Dem Well roard Lyon. 
7)uk^, Well runne This^ie, 

Butck Wellfhrjne^<?o»^. Truely thcMoonefhines 

Pj nS weete Moone, I thank thee for thy funny beames, 
I thanke thee Moone/or rhining now fo bright. 
For by thy gracious,golden, glittering beames, 

O dainty duckc, 6 dearc I 

Thy mantle good, what ftaind with blood ? 

Approach ye Furies fell, 

O fates come,come,cut thred and thrum, 

Quaile,cruQi, conclude,and quell. 

2)«%This paflion,and the death of a deare friend would 
goe neere to make a man looke fad. 

DHtch, Beflirew my heart,but I pitty the man. 

Pir.O wherefore Nature.didft thou Lyons frame 
Since Lyon vilde hath heere deflourM my dearc ; 
Which is,no,no, which was thefaireft dame 
Thatliu djthat lou*d,that lik*t,that look't with chccre. 
Comcteares confound,out fword and wound 
The pap of Pyramw: 
Ijthat left papjwhere heart doth hop ; 
Thus die l^thus,thus,thus. 

Now am 1 dead,now am I flcd^my foule, is in the sky. 
Tongue lofe thy light,Moone take thy (light. 
Now dye,dye,dye,dye>dye, 

i>m,No Die,but an ace for him ; for he is but one. 

w'lih a good grace* 

2)//|f . Well mouz'd Lyon. 
Dfw. And then came Piramns, 
lyfAtid fo the Lyon vanifht. 

Enter Piramm» 

A Mldfommers nights Dreame. 

Z,;/.Lcflcthen an acejnan.For heis dcad,he isnoihing. 

Dnke, With the hclpe of a Surgcon,hc might yet rcco- 
ucr and proue an aflc. 

Dtitch.Uow chance Moone-fliine is gone before? 
Tht's^j comes backe,and Undcs her Louer» 

DHl{eShe will finde him by ftar-light. Here flic comes, 
and her paflion ends the play. 

2)»r.Me-thinkcs flie fhould not vfc a long one for fuch 
a Viramw : I hope flie will be briefe. 

Dem, A Moth will turne the ballance, which PtrHmtis^ 
which Thisbie is the better .• hce for a man, God warnd vs ; 
flie for a woman,God bleflc vs. 

Lyf. She hath fpied him already,with thofc fwcetc eies, 

Dem.hnA thus fiie mcancs yVide/kit. 

Thif, Aflecpc my Louc i* What,dead my Douc ? 
O Viramns arlfe, 

Speakcjfpeake.Quite dumbc ? Dead,dcad ? A toombc 

Muft coucr thy fweete eies. 

Thefe lilly Iips,ihis cherry nofe, 

Thefe yellow cowflip cheekes 

h re gone,arc gone ; Louers make mone : 

His eyes weregreene as Leekes, ^ 

O fifters thrcCjComCjCome to me, 

With hands as pale as milke. 

Lay them in gorc,(ince you haue (here 

With fliceresjiis thred of filke. 

Tongue not a word, come trufty fword. 

Come blade,my breaft imbrcw : 

And farwell friends^thus Thisbie ends i 

Adicu» adieu,adieu* 

2>»%.Moone-fb!ncand Lyon arc left to bury the dead. 

2)^7Wtf.I,and Wall too 

Ijfofi, No, I affure you the wall is downe, that parted 
their Fathers, Will it pleafe you to fee the Epilogue, orio 
heare aBcrgomask dance,bciwcene two of our company ? 

H 3 Dffke. 

A Midfommer nights Dreamc. 

Dttke. No Epilogue, I pray you ; for your play needs no 
excufe. Ncucr cxcufc ; for when the players arc all dead, 
there need none to be blamed. Marry,it he that writ it,had 
plaid Piramuiy and hang'd himfelfe in Thisffies garter, it 
would haue becnc a fine Tragedy : and fo it is truely , and 
very notably difchargM* Butcome,your Burgomaske; let 
your Epilogue alone. 

The iron tongue of midnight hath toldc twclue. 

Louers to bed,tis almoft Fairy time. 

I fcare we (hall out-fleepc the comming mornc. 

As much as we this nighc haue ouer-watcht* 

This palpable groffc play hath well beguil'd 

The hcauy gate of night^Sweet friends to bed, 

A fortnight hold we this folemnity, 

InnightlyReucls^andnewiollity, Exeunt. 

Enter Trucks* 
fftck: Now the hungry Lvons rores, 
And the Wolfe beholds tne Moone 5 
Whilft the heauy ploughman fnores. 
All with weary taske fore-done. 
Now the wafted brands do glow^ 
Whilft the fcritch-owle,fcritchingloud> 
Puts the wretch that lies in woe. 
In remembrance of a fhrowd. 
Now it is the time of night. 
That the graues,all gaping wide, 
Euery one lets forth his fpright. 
In the Churchway paths to glide. 
And we Fairies,that do runnne, 
By the triple Hecates teame. 
From the prcfence of the Sunne, 
Following darkneflc like a dreame, 
Now are ^oUicke ; not a Moufe 
Shall difturbe this hallowed houfc. 
I am fent with broome before^ 

A Midfommers nights Dreame. 

To fwccpc the duft behinde the doore. 

Enter King andQu^ene of fairiej ^ith their trMine^ 

O^. Through the houfe giue glimmering light. 
By the dead and drowHe Her, 
Eucry Elfc and Fairy Tprighr, 
Hop as light as bird from brier. 
And this Ditty after me,Sing and dance it trippingly. 

Tita,Vix{k rchearfc this fong by roate. 
To each word a warbling note. 
Hand in hand,with Fairy grace; 
Will we (ing and bleHc this place. 

O^.Now vntill thebrcake of day. 
Through this houfe.each Fairy ftray. 
To the beft bridc-bed will we, 
Which by vs fhail bleflcd be : 
And the ifluc there create, 
Euer (Inali be fortunate: 
So (hall all the couples three, 
Euer true in louing be : 
And the blots of Natures handj 
Shall not in their ifliie ftand» 
Neuer mole,hare»lip,nor fcarrc, 
Normarkeprodigious,fuch as are 
Defpifed in natiuity. 
Shall vpon their children be. 
With this field dew confecrate, 
Euery Fairy take his ga te. 
And each feuerall chamber bleffe. 
Through this Palace, with fwcetc pcace^ 
Euer (hall in fafety reft, 
And the owner of it bleft. 
Trip away,makc no ftay ; 

Meete me all,by breake of day. Exeunt^ 

RohiH^ If we (hadowes haue offended^ 
Thinkcbut this (and all is mended) 

A Midfommer nights Dream 

That youhaue but flu mbred heerc. 
While this vifions did appeare. 
And this vvcake and idle theamc. 
No more ycclding but a dreame, 
Gentlcs^do not reprehend. 
If you pardon,\ve will mend. 
And as I am an honeft Puck^^ 
If we haue vnearned lucke, 
Now to fcapethe Serpents tongue, 
We will make amends ere long ; 
Elfe the Pucke a lyar call. 
So good night vnto you all, 
Giue me your hands^f we be friends, 
And 7io6m (hall reflore amends.